So…since I’ve become a mom, I’m now in a place where there are things that truly terrify me.
- Hot cars
- Gorilla pits
- Driving my angry baby around
- Viral internet mobs
These things terrify me basically because I read stories about these horrible things that happen and I’m like…oh. my. god. This could totally happen to me.
Shit man, I’m human! When have I been running to work with a million things on my mind on a hot day? Well that’s like every day in the summer. Only this summer, I’ll have a baby with me on some occasions. What if I got so focused on what I needed to do and forgot that my baby was in the car? What if in the second I looked into the rear view mirror to soothe my angry baby, I got hit by a car?
My baby is starting to crawl. That little sucker is fast. I can only imagine that he’ll just get faster. I can totally see taking him to a Zoo and watching that little guy jet off, faster than you can say “internet court of judgment”. What if I had more than one kid (ha ha ha ha ha…I know it’s ridiculous – but let’s assume I have more than one kid for the purpose of this blog post)? Not because I’m an “irresponsible welfare queen” as some folks seem to think is super relevant (and they also think it’s true) and point out over and over, but because I planned to have more than one kid in my family. I could totally see my little guy zipping around, all over the place while I struggled with the younger kid (or kids).
Plus – I stop and take pictures sometimes. Sometimes they’re of myself, sometimes they’re the dreaded “selfie” and sometimes they’re of my kid. I could totally see trying to take a picture of my kid and I (you know, because we’re at the freaking Zoo – terrible parents though, right?) and then in the blink of an eye, my other kid running around as kids are wont to do.
I’m also not “present” (hot damn I hate that term – what a judgmental crock of shit) 100% of the time. Because having a kid is frankly tiring and uninteresting at times. Or sometimes I’m catching up on work emails, because I’m a dedicated employee. Or sometimes I want to dick around on Facebook, Twitter or Politico…because my baby isn’t my whole world. He’s a big chunk of it, but not all of it. He doesn’t define me, he defines a piece of me.
I read a fabulous article which discussed empathy and mistakes in the time of a viral world. Another blog pointed out that we are all one day away or one stroke of luck away from our kid going viral and us being prosecuted by the internet mob.
I think this point is so. incredibly. true. And if you don’t think so – I think you’re delusional. That or you’re a perfect parent and I hope some day I’ll be as perfect as you are.
Actually – no…I don’t hope I’ll be a perfect parent. I happen to like myself just the way I am and I’m positive that my baby is going to have a great life with me. In fact, imperfect parents provide a bit of adversity for the little kiddos and help them learn that they’re not the center of the universe.
But back to the gorilla.
Yes, it is horrible that the gorilla died. It is horrible that the kid got away, into the pit. All in all, this was a tragedy all around. But guess what? We saw that mom on her absolute worst day. We got one 10 minute window into her life. Other than that, we know absolutely nothing about this woman or her life.
If you don’t have the facts or the empathy – it’s a good idea to keep those fingers off the keyboard. So then, when you make a mistake, we can all sit back and say, you know what? he/she is human. I don’t know the whole story. I feel bad for this dad/mom. Maybe, instead of saying horrible things about him/her, I’ll think good thoughts and realize it could have happened to me.
Then I’ll go hug my baby super tight.