I’m not pointing fingers, nor am I asking for trolls. I’m just opening up a little today to share a little perspective. (I can’t say that without thinking of the food critic in the movie, Ratatouille, but that’s beside the point.)
As a mama, I request that we hold back on the judgement. Just put it on the side, will ya? I’m mentioning this in light of recent events, but please do keep it in mind for future events as well.
I’m talking about the gorilla. The alligator. The sweet little children. Their grief-stricken parents.
I wasn’t going to read it, but I did. I read an article about what happened with the boy and the gorilla, and I read another one today about the two year-old down in Orlando.
This is rare for me because reading any stories relating to children is darn-near impossible. They weigh too heavily on the heart.
I’m not trying to take the severity and heartache away from these stories, only the judgement. Because you know what? Life happens. You know what else? Toddlers happen.
Let me tell you about a recent trip to the zoo. Ethan was by my side the entire day, but in the aquarium area, he vanished. He was seriously right beside me just one second prior. My Little Houdini still has me stumped on this one, especially because he’s pretty well behaved… for a toddler. (And I like to think I’m a pretty responsible parent, but I’m biased on that one.)
As luck would have it, I quickly spotted him with a group of children getting their photo taken. It was a group of first graders on a field trip, and he was standing there smiling at the camera, just wanting to be like one of the “big” kids.
Accidents only have to happen once, and it only takes a matter of minutes, seconds even, for disaster. How often does a child slip away for a second at the park/mall/grocery store/etc.?
And trust me, you can’t trust a toddler’s logic to keep them out of trouble.
Here’s some toddler logic for ya. Just this morning Ethan requested a waffle. Five minutes later he got screamy because he didn’t want breakfast. Ten minutes later, he comes in the kitchen arguing that he isn’t going to eat his waffle. When I explain to him that I didn’t make him a waffle, he’s back to screams because I never made it.
Guess what. 30 minutes later he’s so hungry that he requests (and eats) two waffles.
This happens on the regular. My kid isn’t abnormal. He’s two. Now imagine that toddler logic when he or she is excited about being at the zoo/at Disney/anywhere fun and new.
Being a parent is hard. Being a kid is hard. Heck – just keeping on keeping on isn’t so easy some days for all of us. Let’s just cut the parents a little slack by holding back on our judgement and replacing it with an extra dose of compassion.
My heart breaks for the parents of the child who was attacked by the alligator. Please send prayers their way.