Lay Off!

By now, anyone who spends even a minute on social media has seen the news report about the 4 year old who fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. At the end of the terrifying ordeal, a 17-year-old, 400-pound male lowland gorilla, was shot and killed by the zoo’s dangerous animal response team. And now a toddler is hospitalized with serious injuries, the gorilla is dead, and the whole world has a nasty opinion on how the mother should suffer (some absurd ideas I’ve read: she should lose custody of her children, she should be sterilized, she should have to pay for the cost of the gorilla, etc).

All this grandstanding is so gross. Unless the mother was lounging on a nearby bench smoking weed and swiping right on her Tinder app while her toddler went meandering, we all need to LAY OFF. I don’t personally know any parent who has never taken his or her eye off a child for a moment or two, so why do so many people think they have the right to judge this mother? Perhaps she was helping another child. Or maybe she was reaching into her purse to get a treat for the 4 year old. Or maybe she sneezed and had to get herself a kleenex!

Today while I was upstairs making the bed, Ben fell down a few stairs. He has a bruise on his forehead, but after a good cuddle and an episode of Paw Patrol, he was back to his usual self. Am I supposed to carry buckets of remorse and grief because my kid got a boo-boo? Because…well…I don’t feel all that guilty about it. Ben is a kid. And sometimes kids fall and get hurt. And as his mom I’m supposed to make him feel better and give him the confidence to get up and try again. That’s it.

Here’s the truth: life happens. Accidents happen. Sometimes while life is happening, an accident will happen. And pointing fingers and placing blame does nothing to soothe everyone’s fears and calm shaken nerves. Rather than vilify the mother, we should be offering our support and love to her and her family. It is sad an animal died, but let’s be glad the boy’s life was saved despite a very scary accident.


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