If you follow me on social media or indeed if you read our Novotel hotel review I posted this week you’ll know we were in London last weekend with both of my children.
This is something we do regularly as a family. We are only around 45 minutes away from central London on the tube so it’s very easy for us to visit whenever we choose to.
With the children travelling for free with with a paying adult it can be a nice cheap day out (If we avoid the pleas for souveineers and ice creams and take a picnic with us). London doesn’t always have to be expensive as there is so much to do for free, so many places to visit which don’t cost money – just check out my post on free things to do in London with the kids for inspiration.
Because of having been so many times with the children I don’t have the worry I once had of the crowds, crossing busy roads or even them getting lost. I’m not too bad now at navigating the tubes and can get across London with relative ease, and of course if in doubt there is always Google Maps.
The children love the freedom of skipping down the Southbank and choosing which street artist to watch next. They know to stay close to us and when near roads they have to hold our hands and walk next to us.
Having been in London the day of the terror attacks I have spoken to the children about it. I felt I had to, we were actually in Borough Market and then walked over London Bridge en-route back to our hotel the day they happened. Standing in the exact same places these terrible events happened only a few hours earlier.
As a parent I felt it was my responsibility to talk to the children about these events. There is no escaping what’s happened, with social media, newspapers, news coverage and over hearing others talking they were bound to find out about it, to ask questions and wonder what was going on.
I would rather they heard these things from me than over hear something in the classroom, playground or see pictures on newspapers. I was able to talk to them in an age appropriate way (they are 4 and 7 after all) and explain that these things are something which they won’t encounter often and that as their parents we would always protect them.
We then spoke about our trips into London and the fun we have. I asked them if they were scared to visit and they weren’t sure, they wanted my opinion on this, for me to answer for them.
My answer is NO, I won’t be scared to visit again.
Yes it is scary to think of what happened but I won’t be scared away from somewhere I love so much. I don’t want the children to be scared either.
I want them to know that these things don’t regularly happen and we won’t hide away from our favourite place.
I won’t have the actions of a few ruin our happy experiences, stop us visiting our happy places through fear.
I will not be intimidated into changing our lifestyle.
It’s not to say I won’t be holding the children’s hands a little tighter or looking for potential dangers while we are there but I’ll still be going, living our lives as we usually would.
I want to go to London Bridge to lay flowers with the children, pay our respects to the brave souls who sadly lost their lives far too early that evening.
We will be back very shortly as not to do so means they have won and we can’t allow that to happen.
We will not be afraid.