Thursday, July 03, 2014

Georgia hot car death deliberate?

The local police think so. I thought the father of the late Cooper Harris in Cobb County Georgia might be just another weapons-grade idiot, like so many parents in these incidents are. But this is a whole other order of ugliness, if the charges are true.

Meanwhile, there's a support group for parents who lost their children's lives in hot cars:

"I always tell them, you're not a bad parent," Balfour said. "No one is going to judge you more than you do yourself. I know that I did not leave my son in the car intentionally when I left that day. People tell me I need to forgive myself -- I don't feel like I have anything to forgive. I made a mistake and it cost me my son's life. But I certainly didn't leave him in the car to go bowling or to get my nails done."

So, what constitutes being a bad or good parent in these cases? Should we judge by past history, by intentions, or by outcomes? Does one fatal mistake make you as bad a parent as someone who is habitually negligent but whose child nevertheless beats the odds? People have to make their own peace with themselves, and I hope I never have to face myself in the mirror after a tragedy like this. But if I did, and I asked myself if I was a good or bad parent, I would have to answer:

You are
What you do
When it counts
-- John Steakley