Tonight, I felt myself slip into an all-engulfing hole of despair and hopelessness. Tonight, a picture of a tiny newborn resting in an incubator popped up on my screen. The caption was about how the mother of this child was killed before her baby was born during one of the many attacks on Gaza. By some miracle the doctors were able to swiftly deliver the baby girl, named Shaima after her mother. 

As a mother, my first thought is:

‘Oh my god, precious little bundle of love, come to mama, in my arms, let me love you, I swear just looking at you is turning my Sahara desert boobs into little oases of milk… I want to hold you right this second, I want to adopt you and be your mama.’ A clear-cut case of classic first-world rescue mentality coupled with an unhealthy obsession with all things baby.

And yet, all the while, I am ever-so-slowly sinking, almost unnoticeably, into sadness.

I tried to rally myself: “C – you idiot, this baby’s mother died but this baby has a family. Somewhere there is a papa or grandmother or aunt or someone ready to take her home and shower her with love and make sure she knows the story of her mama.” 

And then the despair begins to take hold. Like quicksand, the harder I try fight it, to think of what can be a positive outcome for this child, the faster I am sinking into darkness.

It’s only a matter of seconds before I am fully engulfed in despair. Even if this little baby girl has a full family ready to embrace her, she is a Palestinian living in Gaza. Given history and the current state of her ‘country’, even if she does survive against many odds into adulthood, what life does she have to look forward to? More cycles of violence and ceasefires? Forever a prisoner in a tiny blockaded patch of land, always either occupied or imprisoned?

She is innocent. Innocent of the poor decisions made between two warring factions. Innocent of all the historical hate between these two brother tribes fighting to possess the “Holy Land” as their own over the last 60+ years.

She is innocent and ignorant of all of this. But not for long. Soon, this conflict will dominate every moment of every day of her life. And there is nothing I can do for her or the countless other innocent civilians caught in this awful web.

As a mother and a human, my heart aches beyond belief for these innocents. I finally understand the meaning of hopelessness. Tonight, even sneaking into my girls’ bedroom to snatch one more secret, sleepy kiss isn’t going to ease the pain I feel for those who are trapped in the crossfire.

Image source: 


Cordelia is a researcher who has recently settled in Merida, Mexico after a decade spent chronicling her parenting adventures around South East Asia. When she isn’t homeschooling her children, she is usually found losing the battle against Herculean weeds while wielding a can of mosquito spray as Brienne of Tarth does her sword. Cordelia's eclectic and oftentimes regrettable past includes eco-innovation, sailing instruction and restaurant cashier. She is currently working on the upcoming launch of her new site Homeschooling for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Write A Comment

Pin It