On the morning of May 23 my 10-year-old son had some problems with his bike.
The pedal crank had worked itself a little loose and it kept missing as he moved. It wasn’t serious but he was annoyed, increasingly. He had his cycling proficiency test in the afternoon and was determined nothing would stop him.
He was also a touch confused as I alternately kept welling up and then dolefully smiling as I tightened the mechanism. I told him to keep going on the road to school. It would be all right. I couldn’t tell him how happy and lucky I felt in that moment that this was his only concern.
Every parent knows the heart-stopping moment when a toddler wanders off in a busy shop
I hadn’t told him about the massacre in Manchester the night before. I decided not to. He’d learn soon enough. We could talk about a religiously warped suicide death cult after school.
In those first hours after the attack, parents took to Twitter sending photos of children they hadn’t been able to get hold of yet. Their desperate messages were heartbreaking.
Every parent knows the heart-stopping moment when a toddler wanders off in a busy shop, for even a few seconds – that time when they’re out of sight and you just don’t know where they’ve gone. And then the relief that floods back when they amble towards you again, or a kind stranger has realised they’ve gone adventuring and their parent is going out of their mind.