When your child calls and you can’t help, it is terrifying. As a parent, your job is to protect them, but when they are out in the big wide world in trouble and you are far away, there is nothing you can do. I can only imagine the horror of a call from your child, stuck in a classroom with a shooter on the loose or from a burning plane or building. I (touch wood) have not experienced something so devastating, but I have had the call from a Polish police station, from a nightclub, from a hospital, from a police officer and it is heart-stoppingly dreadful.
The thing I have learnt about being a parent is that you are destined to remain eternally worried about all of your children all of the time. Sometimes you worry about one of your children more of the time than the others, but then when that worry is finally over, there’s another concern with another child to worry about.
Social media has made it even worse. My parents only had to worry if I didn’t call them on the allocated time on Sunday night from my halls of residence in London when they were in Hong Kong. The rest of the time, I just got on with it and so did they.
NOW, when your child is in the midst of a drama, they call you to let you know. Which is really helpful, because generally there isn’t much you can do about it at that very moment in time. Take for example, my daughter on Sunday afternoon. She Facetimed me from her car, which was on the A30 sliding around in a blizzard. She had skidded to the side of the road on black ice and all around her was carnage. Crashed and spinning cars everywhere. She was terrified and crying and I had no idea how to help her, aside from panicking myself. There was even a car on fire and I really hope the people in the car managed to get out safely:-
I tried to stay calm and offer sensible advice – but it was really quite hopeless and I was shaking with fear. Suggesting she come off at the next turn off was impossible because she could barely see the road for snow. She just simply had to get off the phone and attempt to get herself out of the nightmare in one piece. She’d set off from Cornwall unaware of the conditions (despite the warnings) and then found herself on the worst stretch of road in the country in seemed. She had at least packed blankets and had a warm drink, but she certainly wasn’t prepared for the conditions. Devon had 23cm of snow and more than a hundred schools were shut and typically my daughter got stuck in the midst of it. It even made it on to the news as she was just around Okehampton at the time of several multiple pile-ups. Many people had to spend the night in a school, including a couple on their wedding night. I followed her path shakily on Find My Friends not knowing what else to do.
THANKFULLY she arrived safely home after staying in Bristol overnight and her two hour journey took seven hours and I could breathe again. She was one of the lucky ones and I can only hope that she’s learnt a valuable lesson about respecting nature and staying indoors!
I of course have a few more grey hairs.
The second Beast From The East has finally thawed. Do we have a third on the way arriving in time for Easter?