Posted on November 28, 2008. Filed under: fear | Tags: , |

Within the past year or so, I remember reading a news article on the web about a mother who accidentally left her small child in a car seat on a hot day, all day.  The baby died of course.  The woman was an educated loving mother and no one could ever imagine her doing anything to hurt her children.  The day in question was a very busy day and she was planning an appreciation get together for the people she supervised at work.  Instead of taking the usual route to day care and then work, she stopped to pick up donuts for the get together.  With all that she had going on in her mind, this was enough to throw her off track with her usual routine, and she forgot she hadn’t taken the sleeping baby in the back seat to daycare yet and headed on out to work, still forgetting the child until she discovered it after work.

Now,  this story just made me sick inside.  To me, it was a cautionary tale too about our busy lives and how they balloon out of control all too often.  In this case, the result was tragic.  Devastating for all involved.  I wondered how on earth this woman was going to go on.  The thought of the baby’s death was horrid. The thought of the mother’s guilt, bottomless, I imagine.  I’d like to think I could never be that air headed and forgetful.  I’d like to think that I always have my children utmost in my thoughts and I would never forget and leave them in a car.  In my case, it is unlikely because they are just too dang noisy.  If they were to sleep, the magic of silence would probably keep the thought that the child was there in my mind.  But, what if?  I am also the epitome of air headed.  That thought makes me really uncomfortable.  That my air-headedness could actually lead to a true tragedy. It strikes fear in my heart.

When I read this article, I also read some of the comments.  One in particular was extremely scathing and angry.  Pretty much, every time I read comments to articles there are at least a few very angry, ruthless commentaries.  I have to think, when I read these, that underneath the anger, almost always, at the root is a fear.  Fear of something, discomfort at something we don’t want to accept or consider.  So, when issues get you angry, think.  What is it that i’m afraid of?


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One Response to “Fear”

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Stories like that scare me, too! Since there was an 8 1/2 year break between my 3rd and 4th child, I was worried sick I’d do something like that with #4–totally out of the mode of having a baby with me everywhere I went. Thankfully, the only thing I have actually forgotten in the car so far is groceries, and they are replaceable! I think you are right; fear is the root of a lot of nasty comments. I wish we could all give each other the benefit of the doubt all the time. Who doesn’t make mistakes? We’re just lucky that most of the time our mistakes don’t lead to tragedy.

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