BEDTIME routine in our house goes along the lines of your average Facebook referendum debate. I tentatively put forward my thoughts and spend the rest of the evening being told I’m wrong.
Eventually I’m so demented, I could happily emigrate and leave them all to it.
Later I creep into the kids’ rooms to check they’re asleep and not simply hiding under the covers with some electronic gadget. I lost that battle with my 14-year-old ages ago, however next door my 11-year-old is usually sound.
His birthday was last week and I’m acutely aware that this is the year when the changes come fast and furious. Pudgy knees and stubby fingers lose their kiddie softness, cute little toes that curled with anticipation when we played This Little Piggy become weapons of mass destruction that no-one should approach unless armed with nail clippers and Scholl foot spray.
Soon he’ll demand Hollister shirts and Superdry hoodies; George at Asda’s days are numbered. His peachy skin will erupt in angry plooks, sales of Lynx will soar as we confront the armpit issue.
I watch him sleep and probably feel the same as every mother the world over. I want him to grow up happy and travel the world without fear that someone is going to view him as the enemy because of the colour of his skin or the crest on his passport or the name on the tailfin of the plane he’s on board.
I want him to be safe, get a job, a house, have money to buy his children food and clothes.
Granted, my worries for him and his big brother are minor compared with the mother in Gaza who sends her kids to school and frets like crazy until they make it home that night. I know my daft first world problems cannot possibly compare with loving mothers in Syria and Iraq, or anywhere else where the line between life and death is stretched to its finest.
However the weekend murder of aid worker David Haines has again made the world feel that bit more fragile and fractured. While here Scotland totters on the brink of change – whatever the referendum result – so much that used to feel distant is suddenly scarily close to home.
Wherever we are, whichever way we vote, whatever our religion or beliefs, we are bound by a common thread: we all want the best possible lives for our children.
The road to all of our futures is paved with hopes, dreams, fears and, tragically for some, heartache, tears and loss. Let’s hope for all our kids’ sakes that where we are headed is worth the journey.