Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Fear

To answer your burning question. . . Yes, I made the phone call to CPS. The caseworker I spoke to asked me if I wanted to be alerted on case updates (they will not inform you of any details, just simply when the case is closed). I chose not to hear anything. I figure I have done my part at this point and I don't need to hear anything else.

One of my commentors asked why I hadn't already? Why wouldn't I?

Well, I guess because there is that small part of me that felt for the mom. I have been there. I have needed one little thing at the store, be it milk, bananas, a spice to make something in particular, you name it. Though I have never given in to the urge, there have been many times when I have glanced in the rearview mirror only to see two kiddos sleeping peacefully and thought, "They'd never even wake up. . . I could be back in a minute. . . "

Granted, I would make some different choices (no keys in the ignition for starters), and ultimately, I don't think I could do it regardless of where my keys were, but the impulse has been there. And there have been other parenting moves that I have made that I am not necessarily proud of.

Parenting is hard work. It is a daily grind of choices that may seem small, but add up to gargantuan responsibility. While I feel I mostly hold up well to this pressure, I'll admit occasional lapses in judgment, things that a stranger might misinterpret or misunderstand.

Yes, I do recognize that there are lines we cross and lines we don't. I realize that my parenting "errors" have fortunately been minor to date and not put my children in harm's way. But for the grace of God. . . because I have made mistakes that could have ended poorly for my children and have been fortunate that they have not.

So, I guess that's why a small part of me empathasized with this mom, even if I thought she was 100% certifiable for making the choice that she did. I wondered about the day she had, the type of crap she must have endured to get to the point where she put her children in jeopardy, just to make things a bit easier on herself. Her day must have been awful and my call to CPS wasn't going to make things better. It was going to make things worse.

Ultimately, however, what made me make the call was the look on her younger child's face; the fear that baby had in its eyes. I have made mistakes, yes, and I will continue to do so, no doubt. But I pray with all of my heart never to see that look of fear and abandonment in Will or Emma's face.

And that's why I called.


Laura said...

Kudos for calling AND for writing this post. I too can see where she was coming from, and while I would never go there myself, I can still see it.

It is what it is said...


christine said...

Let me start by saying I would never do what this woman did.
However- I have been dong this:
I drop off my kids at a home day care. I pull in the driveway with the engine running. Take my 1 year old son out leaving my 1 and 2 year old daughters in the car. I run my son in and hand him off. I am gone about 30 seconds to 1 minute. I then go out and get my 1 year old daughter while my 2 year old walks in with me. I lwas leaving the car runnung because I live in new england and some mornings it could be 0 degrees outside. The home day care is a quiet safe neighbor hood. Not a parking lot.
Since I read your post last week I have been bringing them in the same way except I have been shutting off the car and locking it while i bring my son in. I see no other way for me until the twins are walking and walking well enough for me to take them all in.

Michele said...

Good for you for calling. I, too, have had those urges... Especially when they are SO deeply asleep. Just the other day, I said, "man, wouldnt it be great to be able to run to the store for eggs" while they were napping. But we all know that a deep sleep this second, could be wailing the next. And, for a variety of reasons, I would never, ever leave them alone like that.

Like Christine said, when you have multiple carseat kids, it is super tough to get everyone inside at once. Thank goodness we have a garage so it isnt a problem at out house, but before that, it was a mess. Sometimes, I would stroller them to the car (after they outgrew their infant seats) but once the twins got too big for that I carried both. It was a pain. I finally bought a shoulder sling which makes getting both to the car (and out of it) at once SO much easier.

But parenting is hard- no doubt. The issue is that this woman put whatever her supermarket need was above the welfare of her kids and that is why you called CPS. It's tough knowing that your call will make her life harder, but still... someone has to be the voice of that child. And you were. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Good for you. At the very least I hope she would never do that again. I definitely understand the temptation but we live in a world where people will take a running care with kids in it and not think twice. It's not the 1950s and not everyone in your neighborhood is a friend.