Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Can't Sleep Because I Feel Like Casey Anthony

If yesterday's news had included the tragic report of a toddler suffocating on a plastic bag in a Los Angeles grocery store, it would have been all my fault.  Sort of.

While strolling the aisles looking for the perfect blend of organics, deceivingly cheap wine and Box Tops, I couldn't help but notice a frazzled mother carting along her very fussy two year old.  I was just about to give her the universal mom-nod for "been there" and throw her a parental gang sign when a beautiful calm came over the child.  She was pacifying herself by sucking on her chubby hand, which was gloved by a thin plastic produce bag.

So basically, she was pacifying herself with a murder weapon.

(just trying to lighten the mood here, people...)
I stopped in my tracks, jaw dropped, then did the unspeakable.  I shut my mouth and kept on walking.  Ironically, I am the one this is killing.

I have convinced myself that chubby hands has a long, happy, healthy life with a great BMI ahead of her.  But if she didn't, if somehow her mother's exhaustion, frustration, distraction or basic need for an emoticon had allowed a tragic end, I would have felt personally responsible.

I am unsure of why I didn't speak up.  I was in a rush (again).  I was minding my own business (for once in my life).  I was avoiding confrontation (for a change).  Whatever my reality may have been, it was unacceptable- right?

There is a very fine line between putting your nose where it doesn't belong and acting out for the greater good.  Love is the greatest gift we give our children, or is it?  If we fail to protect them and keep them safe from harm, then our ability to give love (and life) can be lost forever.

And in that case, where we fail to shelter an innocent child who is harmed tragically as a result, what makes us any different than a terrible human being like Casey Anthony?

Watch out because next time, I am speaking up.  Loudly.