Friday, July 20, 2012

I Once Took an Infant to a Midnight Screening, No One Called Me Crazy or Unfit.

Very early this morning 12 people were killed and 59 were injured when a young man decided to open fire on a crowd of people at a midnight showing of the new Batman film. This is heartbreaking, scary, and imcomprehensible.

At four o'clock this morning, it wasn't the house shaking thunder storm that woke me up, it was the words shooting, three month old, and six year old uttered in the same breath by the news anchor on my TV. (I fell asleep watching the news the night before).  My heart ached for the parents of these children.

After much browsing of twitter and many reading of linked articles, my heart was aching even more.  The three month old was treated and released from the hospital. The six year old did not surrvive. And people are lashing out at the parents of these children for parenting decisions they will regret for the rest of their lives.

I read an article on Yahoo! about a mother and her fiance who escaped with her four year old daughter and thier four month old baby. The comments were appaling. People were saying things like "the shooter should have shot them first for taking thier kids to this movie." Another article about the same mother was praising the young man who put himself between the shooter and her children to make sure they got out of the theater. Again, I see comments about her decision, no one praising the self endangerment of the young man (who surrvived but was injured). 

I took my now five year old to a midnight showing when he was around 6 weeks old. (It was one of the Harry Potter films). I was nursing I knew he would sleep through it so long as I got him latched on as soon as he stirred. The decible level didn't even occur to me. Would I have taken him to a midnight showing now? Probably not. And not this movie (he gets nightmares). But the mother of the four year old said he daughter was asleep on her lap when the shooting started. And as for the six year old, maybe that child didn't get nightmares from watching dark movies. It's not our place to judge.

I might not agree with the choices some parents make, but they are the ones raising their kids.

What if they had left these children home without a sitter? That, I think, is far worse.

If the tragedy of lost lives had not occured, no one would have noticed, or probably cared, that these parents took thier young children to see a movie at midnight.  And chances are, if I have another baby I will not take him or her to a midnight showing, mostly because I don't get that excited about films anymore (ok maybe Peter Jackson's the Hobbit will get me that excited). I've done it once, I understand; and I don't think that getting angry over the age of the movie goer is a correct channeling of ones outrage.

Please, be angry at the nutcase who used other human beings for target practice, not the parents who made choices for thier children based on thier own beliefs and ideas of child-rearing.