The story that has gripped the heart of every parent
It’s easy to become complacent about the news. It sad, but it's true, you can scan the news pages every day and read about war and drugs and fighting and corruption. Even poverty, neglect and abuse and it’s not because you are hardened or you don’t care, that the stories don’t hit you with the full force that they should. It’s not because you can’t or don’t want to think about it but sometimes those stories seems a million miles removed from your life.
There is always fighting, poverty and sadness but the chances of it seeping into your home are almost impossible. You have built strong walls. You have a loving family, enough food to eat, a happy home – nothing bad could happen.
And then you click on a story like the one about the Krim family and you read about the unimaginable and devastating loss of their two small children who were allegedly stabbed to death in an empty bath by their nanny. And as you try to digest this you read that their mother walked into the house with her 3-year old child to discover this scene.
And the news hits you in the heart and your eyes well up and all the times you have left your children in somebody else’s care flash before your eyes. Suddenly the news comes into your home and it sits in your heart in the very same place that your children do
"I'm not a crier — I'm just a parent. And the horror of losing my child is nothing close to unimaginable; it's a real fear you live with every day the moment you devote yourself to the care of another person, a raw nerve the world can sting at will.
It isn't that before having a child, I would have been callous to this family's suffering. It's that before I might have been able to shut it out, pretend it was something that happened somewhere far away to people I would never know. Before, I wouldn't have had the reference point for how deep the pain of that loss could go, how unfathomably, core-shakingly deep the gut-punch would be. Now I do.
I don't pretend to know what the Krims are feeling. I only know the unavoidable, irreversible risk one takes in having and loving a child, and it is unlike any other on earth. I have never been so attuned to the suffering of children as I am now that I have one, and once your eyes are opened to the extent of their suffering in the world, often at the hands of people they trust, you realize you would guard every last one of them with your life if you could.
It is a story as old as the day is long, but making a person changes you forever. Take a look at any parent and know that their weakest, most vulnerable spot is now in externalized physical shape in the form of their child. We can pretend to be carefree people living spontaneously in the world, but inside we know there is something very real which can wreck us at any moment as easily as flicking a switch. Only second to that is the weight of the responsibility to do right by them."
I could find reason every day to hold my child a little tighter. And today I hold him while fighting back tears for a family I don’t know. I know that tomorrow my anguish will begin to fade while the devastation the Krim family are facing has just begun.
I know that I can't let my child feel the impact of my horror and fear because of an incident, that in reality, has as much connection for him as the war stories that appear in the paper every day. He's not going to be murdered just because someone else was and my rationale mind knows that.
But today. my heart is outside my body and I just want to wrap it around my son like soft cotton wool to protect him from life. To protect him from any harm and to wish for him a life where none of us have to read stories like this one ever again.