After reading the article about "Horrible Moms" and Crystals comment on the article, I had to read it. When I read the stories of the moms and the horrible things they did…I thought of ME.
We are not perfect. Sometimes we make bad choices for our kids…and I realize that sometimes "it takes a village" to raise our kids. But sometimes I think "the village" needs to let parents take care of their kids, without intervention.
When Nick was about five or six years old (don't exactly remember how old he was) - we took him to the Centerville/Carroll basketball game at Carroll. Carroll high school's gym is not very big - so they put bleachers on the stage for overflow. We were at the game because Donny's cousin played for Centerville.
By the time we got there, there were only seats left on the stage, so that's where we headed. Donny wanted to stop to talk to his Aunt and Uncle in the bleachers on the other side, so Nick & I went to get our seats on the stage. We sat with Donny's dad and mom.
Nick had NO interest in the game. There were several kids playing under the bleachers (OK, right here, I shouldn't have approved, but I did). I wanted to watch the game, and he was with a bunch of other kids. Somehow, and only God knows how, Nick got his head stuck under the bottom row. Maybe he was trying to get something that rolled under the bleachers…I don't know. I just remember Donny's dad going under the bleachers and pulling on Nick's legs, trying to get him out…Nick was screaming his ear was stuck - he was going to rip his ear off if he continued.
Donny's dad proceeded to go around the bleachers and started screaming "EVERYBODY OFF THE BLEACHERS!!!" So everyone is scrambling to get off the bleachers (so he could lift up the bottom row of seats so he could pull Nick's head out)…all the while the basketball game is going on.
Everyone (including Donny) in the bleachers on the other side are going "What in the heck is going on over there???"
Nick was safely pulled from under the bleachers, only for some woman sitting a few rows behind me commenting…"HE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN UNDER THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE."
No duh. Like I didn't feel bad enough. I didn't say it at the time, but I thought "Wow. you must not have kids."
How many times have we made decisions and felt guilty for decisions that we made. I felt stupid for letting him play, and maybe it was the wrong decision. But I didn't need someone to remind me. I tend to learn from those decisions.
I'm pretty sure my parents didn't give a darn what other parents thought about their parenting. Which by the way, was much like the rest of the parents in the 50's-60's - "get out and play"… and kids played. Without parent interference. Parents didn't pick teams for our kickball games. I never saw a parent outside. We played and we were home in time for lunch, then back outside until dinner. The only time I remember watching TV was on Saturday mornings - cartoons. It was a pretty good life.
I loved the way the article ended - with the woman who intervened ONLY TO LEND A HELPING HAND. That's the person I want to be. Because I've been there.
I guess in a way, it was the same way with Melissa. Did she get cancer because of what she ate growing up? (the puzzle just went off…I think she's telling me NO MOM. IT WASN'T WHAT I ATE)…but as parents we tend to feel guilty when bad things happen to our kids. Sometimes we have no control, and other times we make split second decisions that might look bad to someone else, but in the moment, seem harmless. I don't think I ever left my kids in the car to run into a store, but my kids were never in a car seat. In fact, I remember putting Nick in a punkin' seat on the front seat of the car. I think he even rolled off the seat once when I had to stop quickly. THANK GOD no one saw that. Was I a horrible mother for any of these things? I really don't think so.
It's hard to be a parent these days with so many cameras rolling and people watching your every move.
Maybe parenting classes would be a good idea in high schools…just another responsibility for teachers…
And that's a story for another day.