Empty room

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This morning was poignantly reminiscent of the first morning after I brought my first baby home from hospital. We actually travelled home at about 3am, but after some sleep I awoke again when the sun was up, and the peaceful day greeted us. Everything seemed so much more special, senses enhanced. This morning the sun squeezing through the misty sky, the gentle hum of the dishwasher and the washing machine, smell of coffee, fabric conditioner, detergent, took me back to that day more than sixteen years ago. Today there was peace and quiet with sleeping children in bed, oversleeping because of the clocks changing last night. That feeling of home comforts, having those you love safe and sound and close by. Normality, the inner peace that mundanity can bring.

Over sixteen years on I am not creeping upstairs to my bedroom to see my sleeping daughter. There is an empty room, like the one I had nightmares about when she was born. Terrified that something bad would happen to her. How could I protect this tiny baby? Now in my house is an empty room. Up the stairs from the hum of the appliances that used to soothe and settle my daughter, her room is bare, possessions piled up ready to be taken away. In a cloud of teenage anger, confusion, fear perhaps, she decided she was moving out. I love her more than ever and it hurts more than ever. The fear and overwhelming responsibility for a new baby is nothing in comparison to this.

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