I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

Growing up have you ever done something and let your brother/sister take the blame for it. For example, broken a glass, smashed Aunty B’s Christmas present? And at the time you may even have a glee moment of how you got away with it. But then guilt kicks in and you see your sibling grounded and feel even more guilty until you confess and even though the punishment is worse deep down you know you have done the right thing.

Now imagine killing a little boy in your car and then fleeing from the crime scene. You then disappear from your home and spend the next year on the run. At this point I can imagine you are thinking who could do such a thing? Why would someone do such a thing? Is there any justification to this?

But someone did. Someone ran over 5 year old Jacob and left him to die while his mum cried over him. Someone changed his mum’s life forever.

As a mum guilt is one of the biggest things we feel. It doesn’t matter if your child is 5 months old, 5 years old or 15 years old the questions may be different but the guilt always rears it’s ugly head. Are you there enough? Are you really listening to them? Did you iron their clothes properly? Are you the worst mum because you did not let them have that chocolate bar for breakfast (errr no!) but this guilt comes and the minute your little (or not so little) person tells you they love you or holds your hand or gives you a cuddle for a minute that guilt subsides. But what if you take your eye of them for just that split second and in that moment they are gone?

“It happened so quickly, she said, the words triggering a release of emotion. ‘He was talking about school, and then…I only let go for a second.”…”It was so fast. The car came so fast.”

How do you ever live with the guilt? So is it your fault because you let go of their hand or that persons fault because they hit them?

Ironically whilst writing this post my child told me I was the worst mum ever…think a female Kevin from Harry Enfield including the eye roll. And yes sometimes I feel like the worst mum ever but what I do know is I love the bones of my little girl. Yes there are days I could quite happily sell her on EBay or hang her outside the window (luckily she has her grandad to save her then) and then I do wonder why no one ever thought of a sanity line for parents but despite all that I would lay down my life for her and when she crawls into my bed occasionally at 4am and sleeps like a starfish and suddenly develops more arms than an octopus; secretly I love it because even though I may be the “worst mum” it’s mum who gets rid of the bad dreams.

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