I was scrolling through my Facebook feed at about 8:30PM last night and a story appeared about a couple in Colorado whose 6-year-old son had wandered away from home, on a cold freezing night. They had been looking for him for a few days, there were state trooping out looking for him and heartstoppingly, they had found the small frozen body of a child in a pond very close to their house. Now, at this time, they haven't identified if the body is that of the missing child or not, but when I read that story my heart went out to the parents. I couldn't even imagine facing this new year without my darling William and I went to the comments to send my love, prayers and hope for them. As in this trying time, they needed support and positivity. Instead, what I found was hatred and vengeance at the parents as the holier-than-though keyboard parents decided that a child wandering away from home, must be, of course, the parents fault. I mean, why would any parent ever take their eyes of their children? You are supposed to take them to the bathroom with you, monitor them constantly while you take a shower, cook dinner, help any other kids in the house and forget having a moment to yourself to unwind, you are supposed to be constantly hovering over and aiding your kids, if these faceless keyboard parents who spew such vitriol are to be believed. Seriously, though, these things can happen in just one blink.
Let us remember that no one is perfect before we, ourselves, become keyboard vigilantes spewing judgement and indignation through a veil of anonymity. Instead, be a voice of kindness, reason and love.
I was cooking dinner the other night and William as playing right next to me. I turned my back to get something from the refrigerator, turned around and he was trying to open the back door. Luckily it was locked but in not-even 15 seconds I was fetching an ingredient he could have slipped out. Blink. If he had managed to get out because either my husband or I had some moment of forgetfulness and didn't lock the door, I could imagine the keyboard vigilantes typing that I was a horrible mother who should have known better than to turn my back, for even one second, as something might happen and that, gasp, my child should be taken away from me and given to someone who better deserved them.
I was sitting on the couch last night, enjoying my first time relaxing all day and looked over to say something to my husband. Suddenly, a book on dinosaurs was being forefully thrust into my lap and hit my wineglass and my wine spilled all over me. Luckily, it wasn't something hot that could have burned either one of us. I had taken my eyes off of him for a split second and desaster struck. Blink. If something serious had happened, I would have been blamed for holding something that could have harmed the baby, that maybe I was an unfit parent for imbibing any alcohol and didn't I know that once I had children any of my needs, wants and desires such as the need to relax and unwind for 10 minutes after work, was fully and completely surplanted by the necessity of watching my child every second of every day?
Yes, these comments seems a little harsh (ok, very harsh) in this context, but this is what people are writing about that poor scared and greiving family. I would have felt horrible and probably never forgiven myself had something happened, as I am sure they are currently feeling or replaying those last moments with him over an dover again. What they don't need, though, is to be told that they are horrible parents for being humans, individuals and not being perfect 100% of the time. What they need, instead, is an outpouring of support and human kindness. None of us are perfect parents, we make mistakes and we are real. Let us remember that no one is perfect before we, ourselves, become keyboard vigilantes spewing judgement and indignation through a veil of anonymity. Instead, be a voice of kindness, reason and love.
Remember, it could happen to anyone in a blink of an eye.