Mum shares a letter to her tween daughter after the horror of a recent terror attack during a concert in Manchester.
To my daughter,
When you first told me you’d been offered an Ariana Grande ticket by your best friend for her birthday gift, I was worried.
Because I wasn’t sure if it were age appropriate for an 11 yr old, like, a catsuit? whoa. Because you have anxiety and there would be such a big crowd. I even worried you might get lost in it and separated from your friend.
I worried you’d expect me to take you to expensive concerts every time your favourite pop stars were in the country, that I’d get nagged once you’d gotten a taste of live music and we all know deep down I’m an introvert when you put me in a crowd without the control of having the microphone.
But I put those worries aside, and I said yes.
Because you’re 11, and I’m your mother. As your mother, it’s my job to do the worrying for you about those grownup things. It’s your job to see the world through the eyes of an innocent child, and my job to risk assess and make sure you’re as safe as you are both loved and happy.
Then the Manchester attack happened.
We already shield you from most of the news, because it’s scary. These shitty, life destroying, one off events are pumped through mainstream media like they’re daily occurrences the next suburb over. But you found out at school the same day.
The rest of the tour was cancelled, including your concert in Australia.. and I have a new set of worries because damnit, I have anxiety too…
How does one deal with this situation as a parent?
My 11 year old knowing people and kids with the exact same concert ticket as her lost their lives?
This isn’t in any of my ‘raising tweens’ guides, that’s for damn sure. We’ll talk about everything you want and need to, I’ve read all the ‘guides to talking to your tween about the Manchester Attacks.’ I know more than I ever wanted to.
But THEN what do I do?
Lolly, my darling, I will take you to every damn concert, live event, pop concert I can find and have time for. We all know I’ll get nagged once you get a taste of live music. And that’s exactly what SHOULD happen.
As a child, it’s your job to experience the beauty of music. Art, friendship. Micro communities, bonding over common interests to find and meet people you’d never otherwise have met. Having experiences you’d never had the option to, with countless other art and music lovers.
I want you to feel and experience that joy while you’re still an innocent child. I want it to truly resonate within you that without joy, without beauty and art and friendship and experiences and life, what are we even living our best lives for?
We can’t live in fear, in avoidance, and we certainly can’t live in terror of the next attack.
It’s your job to see the world through the eyes of an innocent child. Because you’re 11.
It’s my job to do the worrying for you about those grownup things.
And because I’m your mother, it’s also my job to make sure your world keeps turning.
This post originally appeared on katabianac.com and has been shared with full permission.
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Photo provided, www.lifeisbeautiful.com.au