The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, August 03, 2007



“Baby Dies in Locked Car”

Instantly, the barriers go up. This could never happen to me. I don’t need to read any further to know that some drug-addled teenaged parent is to blame for this tragedy. Make that crime.

Safe in my indignation, I read on. The facts do not square with my assumptions. The criminal is a 46-year-old family man who drops off his daughters at soccer practice and infant son at day care before going to work. He has a good job, a wife, a house in the suburbs. They have carved out a measure of balance -- he leaves for work late enough to spend the morning with his children, and she picks them up long before the sun sets.

A full and busy life, just like mine.

A photo shows the father playing with his plump son in the ocean, his smile radiant, his grip firm. The baby wears a white floppy hat to shield him from the sun. A hint of a smile creases his face as he takes in the gentle, cold swirl of the waves, the safety of his father’s arms. What joy he must have brought to his older parents, the longed-for son who arrived perhaps unexpectedly so many years after his big sisters.

Now life has been turned upside down, the oceans emptied, the sun come hideously to earth.

What must it be like to get a call from your wife, thinking you’ll need to stop and get milk on the way home, but instead learning the world has collapsed and it’s your fault?

What must it be like to open the door to the man you kissed goodbye or maybe sniped at over breakfast after he has murdered your baby?

I cannot go there. Or rather, I can go there so easily that I must pretend it could never happen to me. My separateness inoculates me against the possibility that all joy can be erased in a moment.

But I am no different. I remember when we forgot we had a baby and drove home from the movies without retrieving her from the sitter’s. And her silent choking on a wad of paper while riding on my back. What if she had landed on her head that time I tripped while carrying her? Or been in the passenger seat that crumpled like tinfoil when that woman ran a red light?

Life offers so little protection from what ifs? and momentary lapses in judgment. No wonder I create the fantasy of the Other, someone I can condemn. This guilty and different person cannot use the pass key of identification to breach the perimeter of my false sense of security.

Judgment keeps me separate and safe from catastrophe.

By Lorrie Goldin


StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites
Lorrie -- Beautifully written, touches a nerve, haunting...Laura-Lynne Powell
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?