I was driving today through my hometown. Going through the country roads. Enjoying the scenery. Lake Ontario on my right. Orchards and wide open spaces with splashes of houses. On the side of the road, a couple in their late 20s was walking their dog. The woman tripped and I watched the man instinctively reach out and put his hand on her back protecting her, making sure she was okay and I thought, that is something she probably takes for granted. The natural way he reached out to protect her. For her, it was just another day in the life of her and him. But for me, my usual day was unsafe and unprotected. I have never had that instinctive protection. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of male friends who would definitely protect me. Who would instinctively reach out to me. There is no doubt in my mind. One thing is for sure, I know how to pick great friends but in my everyday life, I did not have someone who instinctively protected me. In fact, I found myself protecting not only myself and my children but other people in our lives, like my parents, friends and his sister from him.
So, as I enjoyed the sun and the scenery, I thought about what it feels like to be safe. Sometimes my safety is knowing my boys are with me. Sometimes safety is the hugs from my friend or the talks over Skype that mean so much. Because in these simple things, I find a connection, safety, and love. I can be vulnerable. I can laugh and be silly. I can be myself even if that means I’m sobbing and now that I can be me, I feel safe.
Tonight my safety is knowing that I am not spending another New Year’s Eve being ignored or insulted. I am home. My boys have friends over. They are having an amazing time and I am happy that the kids want to be here. That their friends like to be here and they are all safe and sound under my roof. Right now they are all laughing while playing a game. At some point tonight they will be singing because they always end up singing at some point. Except for having the one I love here, I can’t think of anything better than this.