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Fatal Distration: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car is a Horrifying Mistake. Is it a Crime?

on January 16, 2013

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car is a Horrifying mistake. Is it a Crime?

I can’t count how often I’ve had nightmarish thoughts of something happening to my babies. I have many fears and the fact that the world is the way it is at perpetuates them. Not to mention the natural parenting fears.

Am I going to be a good parent?

Will I keep them safe?

Then all that rushes through you when they are born, how tiny they are and the fragile nature of their body. (Believe it or not they aren’t as fragile as we think. Babies are super resilient little suckers. Thank god!)

I read this and my eyes began to burn. The thought of such a painful tragedy activated my tear ducks. I felt a tear begin to sting my eyes and roll down my cheek. I kept reading and this fathers plight, guilt, and grief made my chest tighten. I couldn’t say “How could you leave your baby in the car?” all I wanted to do is hug him and tell him it was going to be alright. That it was an unfortunate mistake.

It isn’t going to be alright and as much of a mistake as it was. Mistake by no means describes the incident. The melancholy that must now fill these parents heart has feel never-ending. During Gene Weingarten interview with Warschauer the subject of wordage comes up “The word ‘accident’ makes it sound like it can’t be prevented,” Warschauer says, “but ‘incident’ makes it sound trivial. And it is not trivial.”

What can you say? The mind isn’t a flawless machine. We make mistakes all the time. As mom’s I know the first thing that came to mind when I read the title of the article I said to my husband, “How could any parent ‘forget’ their child!” As I read it I couldn’t get past the sadness and grief that instantly hit me. (If I could only communicate in written form like this Gene Weingarten, amazing!)

I didn’t realize this happens as often as it does. So many pointless deaths. Not with malicious intent or any intent at all just a mistake. A mistake that claims a life. Not a life that has had years to experience the world around them but a life just beginning. A helpless person still struggling to conform to world outside of the womb. Writing about this now makes me battle my natural instinct to weep and hold onto my children tightly.

The situation as a whole is distressing, filled with inconsolable grief and regret.

I just couldn’t even begin to imagine. Can you?

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