This week Zsuzsanna Anderson wrote a piece called Fatal Forgetfulness about not judging, punishing or reviling those parents that somehow manage to leave their children in cars with the windows rolled up. This has started to be a tragic trend throughout the nation every time the temperatures climb to higher levels. Here’s what she said:
But the truth is, anyone is capable of forgetting their child in a car. Doctors, lawyers, and a rocket scientist have all made the same fatal mistake that the Wal-Mart employee made in Texas yesterday. Moms and dads, rich and poor, old and young of every race are equally likely to forget their child, because it has nothing to do with our parenting, but all to do with the human brain.
I have personally known and heard of great parents who have forgotten their child in a car briefly and thankfully without suffering harm. It seems that almost every time I talk about this topic with parents, they suddenly recall a time they almost forgot their child in the car. It has nothing to do with what kind of a parent they are. It’s simply a terrible error stemming from the way the human brain works. An attitude of “That could never happen to me!” is a very dangerous one to have.
No, Zsu, for all my faults and foibles as a mother, and there are many as I’m quite imperfect, I have never almost forgotten one of my young children in a hot car. Never, never, never. I dispute that everyone does it.
I don’t know if community disapproval and the forever loss of the child is punishment enough, that’s not for me to say, that’s a matter for our laws and communities.
She illustrates an important point in fundamentalism/evangelicalism/quiverfull, the tendency to exempt parents from blame for neglect if they are the ‘right’ kind of parents, Christians and white. How many times have we seen others excusing people like Susannah Musser who was so overwhelmed by raising a brood of special needs kids that she neglected to keep a close eye on profoundly disabled Tommy Musser – resulting in his drowning death in their bath tub? Or those rushing to defend parents that deny medical help or follow the toxic child discipline advice of Michael and Debi Pearl so closely that they end up with a dead child?
It’s always the same song and dance, the parents cannot be faulted.
But let that same thing happen to someone who is not a believer, or is living on welfare or in government housing, or is on drugs, or of another race and they call for the maximum punishment.
Why do you think that they don’t want certain people punished for the same crimes they want others to get locked up forever for?
Last week’s NLQ Question of the Week – Why Ask God Only For Little Things?Random Question of the Week – Are Patriarchal Moms Actually Helicopter Parents?
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