Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sometimes it's okay to judge

I try really hard not to be judgmental. As I have gotten older, and especially as I travel the road of parenthood I have adopted *There but for the grace of god go I* as one of my mantras. This is especially hard for me since my Myers-Briggs type indicator has me pegged as an ENTJ, with the *J* highlighted in neon. I try to remind myself that we all make mistakes and while judging anyone is a bad idea, judging people for their parenting is never a good idea. It is my belief that we are all one step away from making some sort of mistake with our kids on a daily, even hourly basis. Some of these mistakes will be minor and hardly a blip, others will be bigger. So let's all give each other a break. But let's be honest, we are all judging Casey Anthony and if any one of us had been on that jury she would be on her way to the big house. (Seriously, who were those jurors?). So with that fresh in my mind I nearly choked on my diet Barq's root beer this afternoon will skimming through the Washington Post. There was an article about a woman who has been indicted on charges of felony murder and child neglect of her 3 year old. It appears she put him in their mini-van and forgot to take him to daycare. Instead she left him in the car while she went to work. And drove home afterward with him still strapped in in the back seat. And still didn't realize he was there until her husband called from the daycare in the evening because the child wasn't there to be picked up. At which point she ran out to the the van and there he was there in the back seat, dead. The story reported that you could hear her screams all over the neighborhood. These facts alone are horrifying and I felt grief for the poor mother and the anguish she must have felt and what a terrible tragedy that could happen to any of us with our overwhelmed, overworked, over-scheduled maxed out lives. This had happened previously in 2002 to a man out in Manassas. I recall reading the stories and feeling tremendous empathy for the family, and the living hell that man must be living every day since the death of his daughter. But when I read on in this recent story I discovered that the mother had done this previously back in January, when the car wasn't sitting in a blazing hot sun all day and heating up to a zillion degrees. And that time the day care called her office when he wasn't dropped off in the morning so she discovered her oversight within 30 minutes of getting to work. Forgetting your child somewhere once is a tragedy. Doing the exact same thing less than six months later is unforgivable. So yes lady out in Prince William county, I am judging you.

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