Saturday, November 11, 2023

My baby granddaughter

Yesterday I went to see my youngest granddaughter, Ms X, who will be one year old next week. She is adorable - of course. 

Ms X has learned to play peek a boo. She puts a blanket over her head while we say "Where is MsX? Where is she?" and then she pulls the blanket away and we all say "There she is!" and she looks round at us all and laughs. and then it happens ten times more and how can I help but love her?

One of the wonderful things about babies and toddlers - from the point of view of a grandparent, I emphasise  - is that they demand your constant attention, and because of this, when you're with them, the world and all its troubles seem to float away. 

This was mostly the case yesterday, but once or twice as I looked at her I couldn't help thinking about the innocent babies and children in Gaza and the horrors and losses they are facing minute by minute. 

In August 2014 when the Israelis were on another killing spree in Gaza I couldn't write about anything else on the blog: 

One day I will get my blog back from the crazed, raging, heart-broken woman who has had to turn off the pictures in her tweetstream because she can’t bear to see another mutilated Palestinian child, and who has had to stop listening to BBC Radio 4 news programmes because she cannot take another Israeli spokesperson talking rubbish and being completely unchallenged by the pussyfooting interviewers.

There are several reasons why I am not in London on the protest march today. All of them valid and all of them surmountable and I feel disappointed in myself. One of the reasons was that I had no-one to go with, which is pretty feeble. It didn't stop me in 2014 when the Israelis were bombing Gaza with white phosphorus and flechettes.  

In 2009 when the Israelis were raining hell on Gaza I went on a Sheffield demo with a friend, who just texted me this morning

Bless you, M. I wish I'd known earlier, I'd have gone with you. Bless all of those who are standing up and saying the same. 

After the events of this week, it feels as though the demo is about more than the call for a ceasefire. It is also about challenging the right wing rhetoric that the demo is on some way disrespectful of the Armistice ceremonies. How is a protest for peace disrespectful of the memory of people who died in a war? If there is any violence today it will be 99.5% from right wing mobs whipped up by our appalling Home Secretary Braverman.

Primarily of course the demo is about the wish and actions of the Israeli government to wipe out all Palestinians i.e. genocide.

I feel sick. 


marmee said...

Oh I had this experience this week too! My grandson spent every day from just before breakfast till supper with us and for that time it was good to live in his world. Sue, I was looking at the amazing videos about the march here in Caoe Town and feeling bad AND jealous that I wasn't there! But so proud of my city

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you for understanding, Marmee. xx