Yesterday, I went shopping and bought Sophie her first duvet and pillow set, with a Frozen-themed cover. When bedtime came, she was full of excitement over her “Frozen bed”. She snuggled down under the covers, her big sister in the bed next to her and I held her hand as she drifted off to sleep. I looked at both my beautiful girls, sleeping soundly in their warm beds, smiled and headed downstairs to browse social media. One article jumped out at me from the screen: a report about the refugee crisis and the effects of the cold winter on those trying to flee Syria.
Tonight, there are children trudging through Europe in temperatures well below zero, exhausted, hungry and freezing cold, and at risk of pneumonia and hypothermia. While my children are tucked up and sleeping in their warm beds, there are children who are sleeping outside in the bitter cold. Children who have fled from hardships and horrors that I don’t even want to try to imagine. Families who have risked everything to try and reach safety.
Safety, shelter and a warm bed. Three basic things which I take for granted every single day.
I realise once again just how lucky my children are to be able to live in peace, to play safely and to sleep soundly in their beds at night. How lucky I am to be sitting here at my computer, next to a radiator, typing these words on to a screen. Lucky to be warm and safe. Lucky to have choices.
It’s all too easy to see these kinds of reports, and scroll past whilst browsing my social media feed. All too easy to click away, to turn a blind eye once again. It’s sobering to realise that just four months on from being shocked by the images of a toddler washed up on a beach, I’ve already half-forgotten the children of Syria and retreated back into my nice safe cocoon.
I can choose to click away, and ignore or I can choose to stop for a brief moment and try to help in some small way. To take a moment and make a donation in the hope that it will help those families who are out there in the cold tonight, trying to reach safety. Because no child should have to flee from unimaginable terrors, no child should have to sleep outside on a cold winter’s night. The only frozen bed a child should be sleeping in is one that has Anna and Elsa on it.