Motherhood and the Cincinnati Zoo incident

Harambe

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard of The Cincinnati zoo killing Harambe, a gorilla, to save a 4-year old boy that fell into his enclosure. There’s a few things that rattle me about this incident, one being that most of the criticism has been directed at the Mom of the boy, even though the father was also present. There’s also a petition on Change with almost 500k signatures, claiming to want to ensure that the children of the involved family are safe. I also wonder why any bystander who saw the boy climb didn’t grab him before he fell into the enclosure. I’m sure that would have presented some other problems, but none as vicious as the killing of an Animal and all the finger pointing circulating the internet. To the mom of the 4-year old boy, I’m so glad your son is okay. I’m so glad he was able to go home with you after a brief stint in the hospital.

I’m a pretty chill parent, but this week, I’ve started to imagine unimaginable things happening to Colin. On Friday, I took him to the park to play with rocks (he calls them yellow), and as he climbed the bench outside the café, I could see the possibility of him falling backward, and splitting his head open. In another instant, he was running, twisting and turning amongst the grass and the pavement and he got distracted (looking at a truck, or anything, really, if I’m honest), and when I noticed a metal gate three feet in front of him, I envisioned him slamming into it, and gauging his eyes out. These are graphic, and visions that I wasn’t having three weeks ago.

Today, we were celebrating the baptism of our friend’s baby and we were sitting in the garden of the local pub. There was a doorway that led to a play area, (cement pavement where kids can play free of cars). Colin ran to the doorway and I followed him, and per the usual, he was about two feet ahead of me, when a man on a bicycle (who wasn’t supposed to be there), missed hitting him by about a second. The biker was in the process of falling off the bike to avoid hitting Colin. And both him and Colin were freaked out by this incident. For the rest of the time we were at the pub, I couldn’t help but wonder, what would have happened if a bicycle had hit my son? Would I have been blamed as the mom? Would I have been criticized as a bad parent? How would Evan and I have taken it out on each other? Would Colin have been okay? Eventually these thoughts waned, but accidents do happen, and I think that the majority of the time, they aren’t due to gross negligence.

(Photo from: Mirror)

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