I have just put Toby to bed. He disappeared off to the kitchen and came back with the 4 pint bottle of milk and a beaker.....................I think he was tired.
However when I took him down to bed, he cried and pointed to the door and wanted to go "Back upstairs, wait Daddy!" His Daddy is out this evening. He will be back soon, but too late for this tired little man to stay up, especially seeing as 30 seconds later he was fast asleep so obviously very tired.
Earlier on today, I took him to coffee morning. When we arrived, it was quieter than usual due to some people being away on holiday. Toby did not want to go in. "Where's my old man Jack?" he asked. He took a bit of convincing, but once in he was happily playing away as usual.
Tonight, as he cried and asked to wait for his Daddy, and I remembered his reluctance to go into coffee morning because there were people missing..................I felt my own eyes beginning to fill with tears.
What if we had to leave our house, what if we had to leave everything he knew, with only what we could carry? What if we lost his Daddy, or his brother, or his sister, along the way? What if he was crying "I go home, I go church, I go Nana's", and I couldn't even find him anything to eat or anywhere warm and dry to sleep?
I cannot even begin to imagine what people are going through who are trying to claim asylum in Europe at present. That is what they are, asylum seekers. As quoted from my good friend -
"Technically people are asylum seekers until they've had their claim investigated and been give permission to stay in a new host country, then they become refugees. Asylum seekers are looking for safety; a refugee has found it. Anyone has a legal right to claim asylum, you can't be an illegal asylum seeker."
There are also many people in the camps in Calais who are refugees, currently claiming asylum in France but still with nowhere to live or any other help from the state. I found this on this link - a very good read - https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/introduction-to-calais/
People are starting to question whether the aid going to Calais is going to the right place/people. I don't think that is the right question. The right question is, how can we help everybody? The people in Calais, AND the people elsewhere. It shouldn't be either/or. Our government shouldn't be choosing between a short-term OR a long-term plan. They should be working on both, working with the EU to sort out the crisis right on our doorstep, AND a more long-term plan to help the countries figure things out and people be able to go home.
Sorry if this writing is not as fluent as normal. I've spent the last two days pretty much on facebook. I started a 'little' group for local people to collect items to arrange somehow to get them to Calais, maybe via a larger group somewhere nearby. It has now turned into a larger group, organising pick-ups from a local music festival, organising a big 'drop-off' and awareness raising event, sorting and collecting the donations at the Salvation Army that I go to and offering to store it all there. Obviously, there was a need. And for some reason, somebody picked me to fill that need.
I don't really know what I want to say tonight. In the context of this blog, I am being a pretty imperfect parent as my house is a tip, we had toast for tea, and in general this has taken over the last two days leaving the rest of the household fending for themselves.
In the context of everything else.............................people are people. Would you sit in a camp with a shortage of pretty much everything, despised by the locals, miles away from home, if you didn't desperately need to? When did we decide that men are worth less than women and children? For that matter, when did we decide that 13 year olds and above are all men?
What if we left our house, as above, but instead of us losing his Daddy, his brother, his sister........what if his Daddy lost all of us? Would that mean he didn't deserve help anymore? Would he be somehow less in need now that he had lost his entire family trying to get them somewhere safe? I don't think it should work like that.......................
In one day, 174 people joined our group and starting trying to form some sort of plan. The second day, today, we have 507 members (and counting), and many many plans.
I couldn't think of a song. Or an image. I'm all out.