The last 24 hours my eyes have been burning.
Burning more than my current norm of sleep deprivation thanks to The Retro Baby.
I’ve had these big fat tears that just kind of hang around but don’t actually fall.
Yesterday started off as a normal day- I arranged with a friend to meet in the city with her new bub. Just as I got off the tram I heard about the hostage situation at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place. Gosh, it just didn’t seem real. I called my friend who was running late and on the train. I could hardly get the words out. I was choking on them. I told her that it probably wasn’t a good idea to come in with the bub because so little was known. We agreed that we would meet another time.
The Retro Boy was having a play in the park as I decided if we should go home or not. I considered us to be safe distance to Martin Place. Then I read internet reports that the train line had been shut off between Bondi and The City. Thats when I started to worry. Typical – The day we caught public transport in, what if we got stranded in the city? Big Pram, baby and 3 year old. It was a worry. It was not known what exactly was happening over at the Lindt cafe, but there was lots of speculation of it being linked to terrorism. When you look at what happened in London, with the buses being bombed and the train stations it was enough to make me think we needed to leave immediately. Of course The Retro Boy did not want to leave, he was having a great time playing – So i bribed him. I told him that we had to leave right now to go get ice cream. It worked. We got on the tram, got in the car.
The same baby who kept me up all night decided to sleep all afternoon. The Retro boy had a 3 hour nap too (this NEVER HAPPENS!!) – I sat glued to the tv all afternoon watching the hostage situation unfold. I saw the 3 men escape , then hours later the 2 ladies. My heart was breaking and aching for these people.
Then late last night the #illridewithyou hashtag started trending on twitter to show support for Muslims in Australia who are afraid of an Islamophobic backlash. Offers of support inundated social media offering support to anyone who feels afraid to travel alone. It is so sad that this is the reality of the situation.
Immediately as I saw this unfold – #illplaydatewithyou came to my mind
Why you may ask?
Right now you could say that I’m a stay at home mum ( well work at home mum ) – I don’t get out and about that much- so it’s hard for me to #illridewithyou – But what about all those Muslim Australian Mums our there- or mums of different cultural backgrounds. How are they feeling right now? How could we reach out to them? It’s starts with our children, playing together, learning about each other and growing together. Cultural diversity is a special thing and enriches our country. No one should ever feel alone.
It starts with us smiling as we walk past them pushing their pram every day – then it eases to a hello over time. Perhaps you’re in a Dr Surgery together or down at a playground, the family across the road or in your apartment block. Don’t be shy, reach out!
#illplaydatewithyou you is not just for the situation many Muslim Australians may be feeling right now, it is for everyone of all backgrounds. It’s about love and support regardless of who you are. All children love to play with each other – and that there is our common bond. I hope that this can help inspire small acts of kindness and bring people together.
This morning we woke, The siege had ended. The gun man dead and along with 2 of the hostages. My eyes still burning, this time those big fat tears falling.
It is important to remember these were the actions of one man only and he is to blame
I’m not here to get into any arguments, just to encourage people to reach out to each other