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“Where Were The Parents?!”

I am tired of hearing and seeing this question all over the news, the internet and social media. This question carries with it so much hate, shame, judgement and ignorance. On Tuesday evening, a 2 year old boy named Lane was out with his parents enjoying the surroundings of “the happiest place on earth.” It quickly turned in to the saddest place on earth when the little boy was pulled into the water by an alligator; a predator and reptile that caused this extremely sad chain of events that led to the tragic accident of this little boy dying.

When I first heard of the story I was sitting on the couch with my parents and husband, with baby Nash in my arms and my daughter safely sleeping in her room. We were all in shock of the news story we were just hearing and couldn’t comprehend what we were seeing on TV. Right away your mind goes to the poor family who is having to endure this unthinkable tragedy. All you want to do is say a million prayers for them and hug them tight. At least that’s what we as human beings with a heart should be thinking.

My mind was brought back to recent stories in the news of children getting injured and immediately I felt so sad for this poor family. Their lives have just been torn apart and changed forever and the jerks of the internet would tear them apart even more. I went to bed praying for this family and praying for some miracle that this boy would be found alive or found at all.

Waking up in the morning I checked social media like I usually do and by this time the world knew what had happened. I opened the first news story I saw to read any updates. I noticed all of the comments below and thought I would save myself the pain and not focus on them but then I thought maybe…just maybe there will be some nice things said, some prayers from people far away and a little bit of compassion. I was wrong. Now I know that there are some fantastic people in this world and more good then bad ones but for some reason when it comes to stories like this, the bad ones seem to take over in a big way. The first comment I read is some know-it-all asking that dreaded question “where were the parents when all of this was happening?” Another comment was made asking “why was the child out until 9:30 at night anyways. Why was he not in bed?” And my personal favourite was asked by a reporter at a press conference when they announced that they had found the little boy deceased and he said “do you think this child was doing anything wrong at the time it was attacked?” Seriously?! That’s the question you want to ask? Out of all the questions in the world, that’s what you go with?

This little boy, this two year old toddler was on a vacation with his family to Disney World. That day he probably met Mickey Mouse, tried cotton candy for the first time and rode the teacups with his family. This boy was innocent, wading in a foot of water, his family by his side and was taken. Just like that their lives are different and the unthinkable has happened to a young family who was planning for tomorrow. A vacation that should have been filled with memories to last a lifetime will be filled with images in their heads that they will never forget. They will have to live with the what ifs and if only’s forever. They do not need your blame, your shame, your negative comments towards them and all of the things YOU think that they should have done differently. They don’t need hatred, phrases about what you would have done as the parent in that situation to make the outcome different and they certainly don’t need someone telling them that they should have been watching more closely. They don’t need any of it!

As a parent, as a human being, accidents happen every minute of every day. People get hurt, people do things they regret and wish they could change and unfortunately people loose their lives.  This was a tragic accident. A little boy will never grow up and a family will fly back home without their son. They will plan his funeral instead of planning their next summer trip. They will arrive home, see his toys, his empty room, pictures of happier moments all over the walls and they will cry. They will be overcome with so much sorrow and pain that only their little boy can fix, but he is gone and right now they need us. All of us.

So please. Stop with the shaming and judging of other parents and people. Stop sitting behind your computer and typing out things you wouldn’t normally say to someones face. Stop spewing out words of hate and silliness because you think you know everything there is to know about everything. Stop saying that you would of done things differently. Just stop. Please. All they need right now in this very moment is love, understanding, compassion and for you to dig down to the deepest part of your soul and just be kind. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Try it please. Try it for yourself, try it for this family, and try it for future families and future generations. I do not want to live in this world of constant judgement and neither should you.

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