Daughter three has gone on an exchange. She wasn’t looking forward to it. It didn’t help that she developed a heavy cold over the weekend. Was part of the reason the general anxiety hanging over every outing and trip in the aftermath of the Manchester attack and Saturday night’s events? Daughter three is a devotee of breakfast news, though sometimes I think it may be better to switch it off these days.
She says she is not unduly worried by what is going on, but it seeps in. And it’s certainly something I was thinking about as I got her up yesterday morning for her trip. She seemed to perk up a bit when I showed her exactly where she was going on a map and said it was no distance away.
Hopefully the time will go fast and she will be home safe, having had an amazing experience, as her sisters did before her. All this carrying on as usual is hard, but what else can you do?
In the meantime, daughter one has exams and is suffering migraines, only son has two inset days and everyone is exhausted from the two-way six-hour-a-pop journey to Wales over the weekend, accompanied every step of the way by the Eurovision 2017 soundtrack, a veritable celebration of our social and cultural connection to our neighbours.
I can scarcely believe there is a general election tomorrow. It all seems slightly unreal, yet so much hangs on the result. It is hard to concentrate on work as we wait. How many hours have been lost to checking the news, twitter, Facebook and the like in the last year?
Saturday’s events should make us come together more. They highlight the poverty of thought of those like Trump who seek to divide us; they show us that we need other people, that we are capable of amazing acts of generosity, kindness and bravery in the face of terror and fear. They show that we are so much more than where we come from.
We face such huge challenges in the future – from climate change to terror to keeping the world economy afloat. Humans are social beings. Working together we can achieve much more than we do if we are divided. Divided, whether through hatred or fear or inequality, we are all poorer.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.