I’d like to be able to tell you all that I’ve never left my children alone in a vehicle, but that would be a lie. I’d like to be able to tell you that I haven’t forgotten one of them somewhere or forgot to pick them up, but that would also be a lie. I’d also like to be able to tell you that I’ve always made nothing but right decisions and solid choices when it comes to my children, but that would be the biggest lie of all.
I’ve screwed up royally, and thanks to the good Lord above, all of my mistakes have never had dire consequences. My children survived all of my mess-ups and they’re absolutely amazing. They grew up in spite of me and my mistakes and I am ever SO thankful.
As we watch the news both locally and nationally, we are hearing stories of parents that made a bad decision and it cost their children their lives. When I hear these stories, my heart breaks. Not only for the loss of a child but for the pain that those parents will carry for the rest of their days. They will be judged, mocked, shamed and ridiculed while they mourn the loss of a piece of themselves. They will relive that moment over and over and over and will never escape it. I do not wish that torture on anyone. Ever.
Yes, these situations are preventable and yes, they should have never happened. But they did and there’s no going back. Harsh words spoken in judgement will not fix anything, they will just cause more pain and possibly more circumstances that are best avoided.
I’m in no way justifying what happened and saying that it’s okay, not at all. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone and their wrong-doings. Accidents happen ALL the time, and more often than not, they’re preventable. But they are still accidents.
In these particular situations with children being left in hot vehicles, I think we need to hear all of the story before we go crazy and attack. Were they left in the vehicle because Mom & Dad were in the bar or casino and were using the car as a babysitter? By all means, get mad. That’s a deliberate choice, that is not an accident. Were they caught up in life, or with other kids, or assumed that someone else had the baby? Well, that is different. Completely preventable but an accident nonetheless.
As we move forward from here, I hope that these situations force us to look at ourselves and the daily decisions that we make. Stop judging their mistakes and focus on not making the same ones ourselves.
How many of you have put your child into their car seat and got partially down your driveway when you remembered that you left something in the house. Did you unbuckle your kid or did you justify leaving them because you were only going to be a second. Have you driven to the store to pick up some milk, and once you arrived found your little one sound asleep. Did you wake them or did you run in without them because you could still see your car? Have you ever gone to the Park to “watch” your children play and end up watching nothing but your cellphone? Have you ever been out for a long day of errands with your kids and their screaming and fighting nonsense, only to have them fall asleep half a block from your house. Do you wake them up and possibly disturb your peace and quiet, or do you just leave them there to sleep for a bit? Lets all be honest here … NONE of this stuff should happen, but it does all the time.
Do these things make us bad parents or are they just mistakes? Be thankful that no one stole your car with the baby in the back seat, or that they weren’t grabbed by a stranger in the park. Thankfully, you didn’t slip and fall and bang your head when you ran into the house to grab the forgotten item. What would have happened if you accidentally started your car with command start and your baby was napping in the vehicle in the garage?
Our kids have all been saved by grace more times than we can even count. Never forget that. Thank heaven for keeping our babies safe and secure when we don’t hold up our end of things.
Those children should have never been left in hot vehicles, that is undeniable. They were bad choices and mistakes of the biggest kind but I challenge all of you to put down your pitchforks, thank your lucky stars and be an encouragement to your community. That could’ve been you or me.