Oh the sweet, blissful ignorance of being able to believe that to be true.
Tonight, a young boy in my town went missing for the second time this summer. He's a bright, wiry, quick boy who happens to have autism.
It makes my heart swell with pride to see the community rally to try to bring a happy resolution to this and other missing kid stories. Social media have become a powerful tool to bring us together to offer whatever assistance we can.,
Sadly, the lucky and some of the child-free take the chance to jump up and pound their chests and wag a finger at the parents who are already hurting.
I know both sides. I used to be one of them.
I had all the answers. They JUST need to... and they SHOULD... because a hundred perfectly good reasons why bad things happened to OTHER parents was a warm shield to ward off the notion that we're all vulnerable. If we can find some flaw in the other parent, it means we're safe. After all, anyone can see they're just careless. IF they'd only...
Then, a tiny ball of determination came into my world too soon.
Once you've spent some quality time wagging that judgy finger at yourself for not knowing to look for the signs, not being perceptive enough to understand what your body was doing, for being too afraid to ask more questions, for a hundred other hindsights that may or may not have made a difference in the end... you're slower to throw rocks at other mothers. They sometimes bounce back and hit you in the heart. The path of parenting a child with extra needs is rough and hilly, with plenty of vantage points from which to examine every decision you ever made in painful detail when you look back.
For all the people who cry out for young Draven's parents to lose custody of him, that they should "watch there dang kid harder" and "They need to NEVER let him out of their sights"... I truly hope you never find yourself in their shoes, on that path.
I'd love for you to take a moment and at least imagine the trip, though.