Andrea Mara

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The only thing worse than looking, was looking away

This morning I dropped my three-year-old to preschool, and when I got home, I clicked onto Twitter. The first thing I saw was the picture of Syrian child Aylan Kurdi’s body on a beach. Instinctively I clicked back out – it felt completely wrong to look at it at all. But a moment later, the only thing that felt more wrong than looking at the tragic photo was looking away. So I went back and I read the story, standing in my kitchen with tears streaming down my face.

I tried to think of circumstances under which I’d pack up my life and my children, and get on a boat, risking my life and theirs. I can’t even imagine what it must be like, when a journey that has ended in death for at least 2,500 refugees can seem like a better option than staying put.

The toughest things that happened my three-year-old today were not being allowed to have a third packet of raisins just before dinner, and going to bed with only four stories. He’s asleep now, in his warm bed, with a full belly and no fears. Which is how it should be when you’re three. This country isn’t perfect but it’s a world away from war-torn Syria, and I’d like to think if roles were reversed, that someone would take my child in.


As my friend Helen put it:

They are us in a different time. A time when our own small island could neither feed nor sustain us. A time when we climbed on board our own floating crypts in search of hope. A time when we knew too well what tough decisions really are.

We shouldn’t pretend we don’t hear the news, that we don’t have enough to share, that we don’t care.  We should make room for those that need us. We should tell them they are not alone. We should let them know they are safe and their children are safe and things will be ok. We should show them they are not forgotten.”

You can read her full post here: Dilemmas of Desperate Parents

To sign the petition urging the government to take in more refugees, click here

You can donate on any of these sites:  Medecins Sans FrontieresAmnesty International,  TrocaireDoctors Of The WorldIrish Red CrossGoal  or join this virtual coffee morning on Facebook

For a good explainer on the migrant crisis, read Why Are Migrants Surging Into Europe Now

This post is part of an Irish Parenting Blogger link up #ReadFeelAct to help highlight the crisis – see all the posts here:

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