It was about 3am in the early hours of Sunday morning.
I woke up (probably needing to pee) and heard the rain falling in a steady downpour onto the sloping roof outside our bedroom window.
I love the rain.
It reminds me of Irish summer holidays in my Aunt’s caravan where it rained more than the sun shone and we would play endless games of pick up sticks, listening to it drumming on the thin roof above our heads.
I listened to the rain; mingled with the steady breathing of Ryan and Jack on either side of me, and Corey on a mattress on the floor.
My husband and eldest and youngest sons, all sleeping soundly; cocooned by the love and protection of our family bond.
And as I lay there, listening to rain and breath, my thoughts turned to the places in the world where mothers are lying in fear.
The places where men are beheading children and putting their heads on stakes in playgrounds.
The places where families are fleeing, mothers and fathers are terrified, and lives are being ripped apart.
And I realised again how truly blessed I am to have the opportunity to live the life that I do.
A life that has never known true fear.
A life where I get to keep my babies close to me every single day and night.
A life where I can sleep knowing that my children will never be ripped from me and beheaded in the street.
A life that is safe.
And before I drifted back to sleep I reaffirmed my commitment to help eradicate the world of violence by eradicating it in myself.
To remember that every act of ill intent towards another, whether in thought or action, is in fact, violence.
To remember that every time I commit an act of violence I am giving permission for it to exist in the world.
To continue on my path of peaceful, gentle parenting (no matter how hard, or how much resistance I face from well intentioned friends and family) for the sake of not only my own children, but for all children; everywhere.