It only takes a minute
My aunt sent me this video about a 15-month-old, Bronson Staker, who was found unconscious in the bathtub. Thanks to some cooling techniques and the hand of God, he was saved, with no brain damage. My first instinct was to blame the mom. Because, how do you find your kid drowned in the bathtub?
Then I read on and found that she left her son in the tub for a minute to go get some pajamas. And then, while she was in the bedroom, she decided to do something else. Come back, and he is lifeless.
Yes, I know, you're never supposed to leave your child in the tub. Ever. Not even for a minute. And honestly, I have abided by that rule. But when Boo was a baby (not mobile), I did leave him in his playpen so I could go shovel the driveway. Not too smart, on recollection. Nothing happened, but I would never, ever do it again.
The mother, of course, is riddled with grief, as this blog post and this one (and many others) reflects. She has been called a bad, negligent mother. Her grief and guilt are all-encompassing, as mine would be. But I feel that, after reading her blog and her story, she should be grateful for the second chance she's gotten and the lesson learned. I know I watch my son closer after hearing the story. Perhaps we can forgive ourselves for the mistakes we've made, hug our children closer and not judge. I know I strive to do just that.
ETA: I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. A comment from the blog:
I have been following your saga for a week now and am thrilled beyond measure for your family! This, is exactly what collective prayers can do. And, just to let you know of the impact, I didn't leave my two year old for a second the other night as she took her bath...thanks to you. We sang silly songs, splashed, and blew big bubbles, and not one time, did I think about doing some laundry, or folding towels. I just enjoyed my time with her, and I want to thank you for that gift. You can never know what you may have deflected in the future by writing about this.