Wednesday, August 11, 2004

And in Other News...

There has been a lot said on the boards and a lot said on blogs about the tragedy that is becoming all too common these days. Well meaning, loving parents leaving their child in a car seat and forgetting they are there.

Before I heard about the tragedies in VA and TN...there have been a couple cases reported on our local news within CA. When I first moved back there was an instance and it seems like every 2-3 months you hear about it because even on a "cool" spring have a baby in the sun in a car and well...the child is lost.

I have very mixed emotions about this whole thing. On the one hand there is a outrage at the situations. How do you NOT know that you have your child with you? Maybe it is the years of child care, day care and ministry that I have developed what some mom's have called my mom radar. High praise for someone who is not a parent and most likely cannot have kids! Maybe because I can be so anal about things so I would be like: keys, wallet, KID, diaper bag, etc. I do that now...even when rushed because I hate to have to go back down to the car if I don't have to! So while I know it happens and yes...I have locked my keys in my is really hard to imagine leaving a child in a car because they are very different than a set of keys.

I also feel a profound sadness that a youth worker and another minister have lost their children, that friends who have shared their strong opinions about the incident have been treated horribly by fellow youth workers on their blogs and that these incidents have the ability to divide communities, churches and friends. As I have read over and over...the pain these men (and their families) are going through is something I cannot fathom. Knowing that through them a tragic accident occurred that has changed their lives forever. My heart aches for the wives that are probably in such shock and that may give way to fury and rightly so...but I pray when that intense anger comes they can work through it together.

It is so hard when we know the truth...the children are in the arms of Jesus...but the pain left behind can make that seem such a small comfort IN THE MOMENT. Hearing that, as I know from other situations in my own life, actually doesn't always help. I pray that the people who are there to support these families know that just being there can do more than any matter how true or well meaning.

Part of me can think sarcastically, "Well, I was beat, I was constantly criticized (okay...still called me a dumb$^$# over and incident from at least FIVE years ago), I was verbally abused but at least she never left me in the car!" She never left me any place on accident and I have to give her credit for being that aware! But I think if someone like my mom who truly had no business being a parent could actually be that conscientious how could an actual LOVING parent be that forgetful?

We can never truly know how that few seconds was phased out of their minds and I believe that nothing can be done in our justice system that will take the place of the punishment these men are heaping on themselves. Heck, if anything, let them heal some and send them OUT to PTA meetings, MOPS and other groups to share their story as a caution. While torture at first, if their words can remind just one parent to remember that precious cargo in the back seat...I bet in time they would think it was worth the pain each speech would cause.


Anonymous said...

There was an incident like thi sin WI a few months ago. A teacher int he state left her baby in the car all through school. As one who cannot have children, I cannot fathom frogetting the child.

Cliff said...

You go, girl.

Your anger and outrage is very, very justified. There is NO excuse for killing your child for any reason, and somehow even less so when it's because of not paying attention.

I have no pity for the ones who do this. So what if they suffer. Jesus came to take the sins of the world, but He didn't take the world. No, the ones I pity are the other parents, the mother's whose husbands did this, or vice versa. I cannot imagine how they cope. I imagine some of them don't.

There isn't and never will be any excuse for killing a child.

Children have become almost afterthoughts in our society. First career, then kids, at least for a lot of people. I know you see this. And this is an absolute satanic twisting of the way things were created to be.

I know. I also will never have any children of my own, and killed the only one I had by talking my then girlfriend into an abortion. I will never be able to forgive myself for that. I understand the guilt that those parents feel.

And they deserve every last moment of it, just like I do.

Some things just cost a lot. Slackness and selfishness are two of them.