Letter To My Eldest Daughter, Still So Full Of Innocence

“I don't need anyone to hold my hand, I'm safe on my own.”

Oh baby, how I wish that was true. At five years old your innocence is beautiful and I don't want to shatter it. You don't yet understand just how evil the world can be. I tell you there are bad people and you think you understand, you think you would be able to get away, but you don't know all the ways that isn't true.

A young girl with long blonde hair and a green dress

When I can't see you, when you are out of my reach a thousand ways I could lose you run through my head. There are so many dangers, so much to fear. I make this promise: if I am with you I will do everything in my power to protect you, but I need you to be near me.

I don’t want to give you nightmares so I haven’t told you how much I worry about what could happen if there was an explosion and you were pulled away from me. My fears are nothing to the emotions of those unfortunate parents who have been there, who couldn’t find their children. My panic each second I can’t see you when we are out is nothing to how I would feel if my nightmares came true.

I’ve always feared bad things will happen to those I love; that my family will get hurt or worse. You could so easily be snatched away and recent events have only increased my anxiety. Like others I claim I won’t let terrorists win, I will continue as normal, but the attacks have reminded me just how great the risk is. There is so much I wish for your future and I fear it could be taken away from you.

It doesn’t matter what happens, or what I say, you still believe you are safe. You still believe nothing bad will happen. I wish I could share your innocence. I don’t want to be the one to take it away from you and I pray that you can keep it for years to come.

When we were shopping last weekend you wandered off. You thought we were following. You went a short distance through a doorway and before I realised you had gone I heard you crying. We hadn’t moved, but you couldn’t find your way back. You thought you had lost us and you were distraught. Only a few hours later, in the car park, you insisted you didn’t need to hold my hand. You weren’t worried about the way to go and you felt no sense of danger. You forget so quickly.

This morning you told me that in year 5 you can walk to school on your own, that school told you it was ok. I said it wasn’t going to happen. You are in Reception now so Year 5 is a long way off, but we don’t live just down the road from school. We normally drive because it takes so long to walk. I can’t imagine that at 10 years old I will want you to walk the streets on your own. 

I know the world won’t be any safer in 5 years time. I wish it could be. I wish for world peace, but I don’t believe it will happen. So stay with me, stay by my side and let me try to keep you safe.


  1. Isn't it just so hard to manage our own anxieties and what ifs with allowing the right amount of freedom whilst still keeping them safe. It is a tough balance!

  2. It's so hard. My daughter spends a couple of nights a week with her dad and I hate not having her around or knowing she is safe. It is such a scary time we live in at the moment x

  3. So true. I want them to grow up and be independent but dread letting them out of my sight :( the world is not good enough for our precious children, we must make it a better place for them

  4. My older son is in reception too so I relate to this so much. I worry about his future all the time, it's a scary world we have to bring them up in, isn't it? Xx

  5. My daughter has just turned 13, but she's a very emotionally young 13 as she has autism. I don't think my fears for her in the "big bad world" will ever go.
    Lovely post, can relate so much x

  6. I'm dreading when they happens to us. She's gaining more independence by the day


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