The day after

I am struggling to get through every activity today. I am finding it so challenging to answer work emails, and go about my business like today is any other day.

I live about 30 km from Nice, far enough away that my family and I were nowhere close to being in danger, so far in fact, that we were asleep in our beds while our neighbours were having their lives thrown upside down. But we are close enough to feel the pain of those around us, to see their fear, and to know that their lives will truly never be the same.

When I left the comfort of my bed this morning, I was confronted with the news. I turned on my iPad, and instead of finding information, knowledge, understanding, I found messages of anger and of hate, promises of more war and more violence. I was overwhelmed, I nearly drown in a sea of ignorance and terror.

Then I realised something else, I had emails, Facebook messages, and text messages from people far and wide, those I spoke to yesterday and those I haven’t seen in years, all trying to make sure we were okay. People whose lives we have touched, who in this time of crisis thought of us. Again, I was overwhelmed. I had no idea that so many people would think of us, would care to know that our family was okay.

After I had answered all the emails, a new wave hit me, I was okay, but were the people I care about? I quickly scanned Facebook for all those that live in Nice, searched to see if they were marked “Safe” and then I started sending my own text messages of concern.

It’s 15h00 the day after; I am still feeling…feeling too much to really process everything, but my brain is slowly trying to take over. I am reacting less and less to my emotions and more and more to the facts. I am reminding myself that France is still one of the greatest and safest countries to live in; I have my family and friends who are today safe from harm. I have my health, a home, food on the table, clothes in my closest, running water, electricity, plumbing, the right to be at work, and be independent. I have love, a sense of humour and reason.

Today is a tragic day, but I won’t be crippled with fear and anger, and I refuse to feel hopeless and lost, because I will remember that one man created so much ruin, but tens of thousands of people have since shown nothing but love and kindness. The world is a good place, filled with happiness, and many many wonderful people and beautiful things. We must not lose sight of that.




You don’t love me if you won’t let me play with your hair

As a change of pace I tried to “do” my hair this morning, that is to say, I did a little more than brush it, but not quite so much as to include curling irons or straighteners in the process. This is rare, and I wanted to enjoy the result for slightly more than 10 minutes.

This is where I get stuck in a catch-22 situation. To keep the hair “done”, I really need to get away from my kids, which happens most regularly on a work day, but on work days, I am rushing so much in the mornings to hit the snooze button three or four times and then to dress myself and the kids in about 5 minutes and 32 seconds  that I have no time to do my hair. Luckily Hubby handles the kid’s breakfasts otherwise we just wouldn’t make it.

So this morning–Saturday morning–I foolishly did my hair. Squishy is out of sorts today, and when she is feeling under the weather her favourite activity is to curl up on my lap, suck her thumb, and twirl my hair.

I left the bathroom after doing my hair and ran into Squishy with her arms stretched toward me calling “Mamie”, at least that is how it sounds coming out of her French speaking little mouth. I promptly picked her up, and she started for the standard, head on my shoulder, one hand in her mouth, the other hand on my hair pose, but I stopped her hand. She raised her head instantly and stared at me with her big brown eyes as if to say, “What the what?”

I gave her a kiss on her nose and rubbed her back. She continued to look at me with untrusting eyes and slowly began to put her head back onto my shoulder. When her hand started to reach up to my hair a second time, I held her hand in mine and started rubbing it. Her head shot up again, but the look was totally different this time. Her eyes were already full of those huge crocodile tears she is able to conjure at will, and her bottom lip was quivering. After meeting my eyes, she then let out a sorrowful scream as if to say, “Why don’t you love me anymore?”

I held out for all of three minutes and then decided it was more important that my daughter feel love. So now, while I am sitting on the couch with Squishy curled on my lap and no longer playing with my now disheveled hair, I realize that I have just lost a battle of stubbornness, again.