“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. “ Mother Teresa
I love my baby so much that it hurts. Before he was born I wanted to see him so much I could not sit still. The first time someone else (my mother) wanted to pick him up and take him out of the room, I was nearly beside myself. No one can prepare you for the fierce protectiveness you will feel for your baby. People talk about ‘maternal instinct’ but no one ever adequately explained (to me anyway) what this actually meant. I was completely unprepared for the feeling of “I swear in the name of God, that if you so much as even think of harming my child – or even making him a little uncomfortable for just a second – I will end you. I will take you down, and I don’t care how many people I have to get through to get to you.”
I am sure the non-Mama’s might think I am being a little melodramatic. I would have thought so too until I had a baby of my own, but it is true. When you have a baby you go from being a sweet and glowing pregnant woman one day, to fiercer-than-a-komodo-dragon-if-you-mess-with-my-kid the next day.
New babies smell amazing, they need you so much and make you feel like you have more purpose – more of a reason to live – than you have at any other time in your life….New babies also take every spare second of your time, child birth takes pretty much all of your dignity, and breast feeding hurts….. but as all Mama’s can tell you – as soon as your baby snuggles into you, smiles, or just sleeps cutely, then all the rest is totally worth while.
We often joke that if women ran the world there would be no wars, because women just don’t care about big tanks and blowing stuff up as men do…. (Which I maintain to an extent may be true!!)
What I wonder though is, how, with all the maternal instinct that is flying around, threatening to explode in waves of wrath over any one (male) who dares criticize (upset, look side ways at) our babies, do we as a global community of Mama’s allow child soldiers to happen?
It is all well and good to say that this doesn’t happen in Australia (or England, or wherever we are living) but that doesn’t make it okay does it? All of us Mama’s should be fighting to make sure that no baby ever has to pick up a gun… even if it is for no other reason than we don’t want them to be pointing that gun at our baby…
I think that one of the reasons we aren’t outraged by the plights of child soldiers around the world, is because we don’t really know who they are, or why they are fighting. We don’t understand the politics (neither does the child actually) and by changing T.V. stations during uncomfortable news reports we are more or less able to protect ourselves from the harsh reality faced by these children every day.
I thought I would try and do my part in filling some of the blanks that people might have in relation to child soldiers. Because when Mani switches on the news and asks “Mama, why does that little boy in Congo, Syria or Sudan has a big gun? You said that children can’t have guns.” I want to be able to tell him “Oh honey, that is an OLD report. Bad people used to let children fight in wars, but all the Mama’s in the world got really angry and saved the children so they did not have to fight an more and could be safe.”
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Children do not understand war, yet over 300,000 children are currently fighting and dying as soldiers in adult wars. Children do not understand unkindness. Children do not have the capacity to hate, until we teach them.
To add a human face to the nameless child soldiers we read about on the news, I have written a story called “Peter’s Story.” This story could have been written from the mouth of a Christian or Islamic child, from the mouth of a boy or a girl. It does not matter what the child’s name is, or where they are from – they should never be made to fight in adults conflicts. Countries have been reported as using child soldiers since 2011 include Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Thailand, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and more.
Have you ever heard a child cry because they miss a parent? Have you ever seen a boy walking lost because he doesn’t know how to be a man with no father to teach him? Did you ever see a young Mum, unsure of how to care for her child because he Mother wasn’t around to teach her. Do you see youths in the street, wasting time, wasting life because they didn’t have the chance to learn?
Imagine a country like that. Such a life, such a world, is not good enough for my children, or your children…. Let’s make sure that no child has to settle for this. We must fight for the rights of children.
I hope you enjoy reading Peter’s Story.