I wanted to protect them
We wanted to protect them
From the horrors of this world.
Keeping them in a safe bubble
Away from the knowledge of the scary things that happen
Making sure bad things don’t happen to them
Keeping them safe
Keeping their world tucked away from the rest.
Maintaining their innocent outlook on the workings of life
Where everyone is kind and your parents are invincible super heroes.
I wanted them to have a childhood free from worry or upset
Free from heartbreak
Free from having to cope with things grown ups struggle with.
Isn’t that what we all want as parents.
It’s not worked out like that for them
For our family.
Far too young the illusion was broken for both of them
Because I had to tell them the truth
Because I believe that my, our honesty with them, was going to be the only thing to get us through.
I never questioned whether we were doing the right thing
Whether we should shield them from the reality as much as possible
I just knew we were.
We are still in the very early stages of our grief
Of our loss
Our new lives without him.
That we will never see Chris again is still unbelievable to me
It makes my heart ache.
Chris always worried how all of this would affect them both
He, we, were devastated he was not going to be around to watch them grow
To help shape them into adults and be around for them
Knowing how much he would miss out on, how much we would miss having him around for.
I worried that their childhoods would be ruined
That they would be unable to cope
That they would never be as happy in their lives again
That they would grow up too quickly.
In many ways they have
They understand that bad things happen
They are experiencing emotions that no child should have to.
Nothing can prepare anyone for what has happened
Through our honesty they have been well prepared.
Part of their childhood will now be an adjustment
Adjusting to life without their Daddy
Learning to live without him
Being angry, sad, happy, excited, laughing and crying
And knowing all of those things are ok.
Lots we will learn together as we navigate our way forward.
Their childhood is not ruined
Crumbled slightly around the edges
Sometimes a little sadder
A little more grown up in their thinking of things
I no longer shield them from the world outside
A better understanding of bad things that can happen
But definitely not ruined.
Despite everything they have been through they still believe.
They believe in magic
In adventures, and being silly, jokes and laughter
In December they woke each morning wondering what the Elf had been up to in the night
That bloody Elf.
They still left cookies & milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve.
They shout for trolls when we go over bridges
Shouting louder near water ’cause water trolls are the worst.
They look for adventure in the woods
The smallest token is the biggest treasure
Sticks become wizard wands
That freeze you
Or turn you into a frog.
Sam shoots webs from his hands
And can shrink you to the same size as him.
They believe fairies visit us
Sometimes to collect teeth.
They believe the Sandman drops in at night bringing good dreams
And if there’s bad dreams I blow them from their thoughts and we shoo them away.
They believe that good things can happen.
On one of our adventures last year Lily chose a sign for her bedroom from the gift shop
‘Life does not have to be perfect, to be wonderful’
They get it
They understand, she understood then
Our life is not perfect, no ones really is, ours has been harder over the past couple of years than most.
Our life isn’t easy and there is a lot we will have to deal with that many are lucky to never experience.
But it can be wonderful and hard, happy and sad at the same time
All of that is ok.
I know we, I, am doing something right
There is still light in us, through this storm
They still believe in magic.