There has been a lot of tragedy in the news lately and most of it has been local. In the past two weeks 2 kids have drowned in their back yards and a baby fell out of a window. And every time I read these stories my heart stops and I double check the locks on our back door that lead to the pool. I yell for Jackson and I hug him close and I fight back tears.
I know I shouldn’t read these stories, the same way I shouldn’t read stories about gun violence or mass murders, but like a moth to a flame I go. And every story I read I scroll down to the comments section and there they are among the “so sorry for your loss” and the “praying for your family” is the “what morons, why weren’t they watching their child” or “what kind of mother lets her kid drown” or “how completely careless, they shouldn’t have children”.
And as I read these comments I get angry. I can’t help but put myself in these parents shoes. I can only imagine how heartbroken and angry they must be with themselves. How their lives must be filled with blame for themselves, for their spouse, for life, for god.
My first thought when I hear these stories is “there but for the grace of god go I”.
I think of all those moments in life when I am distracted, when it’s not physically possible to watch a child every second. That life happens. Phones ring, other children need attention, dinners need cooking. I know it’s easy to forget to lock a door or to wonder if the gate clicked into place. I know that we can’t safe guard everything. That we can’t place our children in a bubble. That sometimes things break, kids fall, accidents happen.
These tragedies are accidents. And I’m sure these parents place enough blame on themselves, so they don’t need the extra blame, all they need is support.