I awoke like many of you – exhausted, not only from the long days and nights of motherhood, but with a heaviness that could not be shook as I made coffee, found socks, and chose show-and-tell items.
My 2 year old is afraid of the dark. In the night, he scurries across the hall from his bed to mine, climbs in and is immediately calmed by the presence of his parents, the safety in our arms and the security of our warm blankets. Everything is immediately right in his world, and he drifts back to sleep secure in the knowledge that he is safe, warm and loved. I’m not a big fan of co-sleeping, to be honest. I soothe him. I tell him everything is OK, and that there is nothing to be afraid of. The truth is, I’m scared too. How can we celebrate, create magic, and smile when we know how much suffering is in the world around us? How can we create a wonderful childhood for our own children, when we know there are children suffering? Then I realized: It’s what mothers have always done. We soothe. We carry on. We tell our children not to be afraid of the dark, and that everything will be OK. Just as mothers around the world always have, and always will.
A long time ago we all learned that there’s no Santa Claus. We found ourselves on the other side of the fence, as parents we were suddenly responsible for keeping the spirit alive. We may be cynical now, exhausted from the world around us, saddened by suffering. Do what you can. Donate what you will. Call you officials and take a stand. Teach your children your values. But, when striken with helplessness and saddened by suffering, do what mothers have always done.
Here is a link to a great organization if you want to make a donation to help families fleeing Aleppo and other crisis zones: https://www.rescue.org/how-to-help