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Make no mistake about it, it's been a sorrow-filled few weeks for our country. Several sad, scary news stories have been making the rounds, and several of them involve children and their parents, such as the recent terrible loss of a 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator while on vacation with his family.
That tale is particularly harrowing, and yet, in addition to the outpouring of grief that's occurring on social media, there's also been an outpouring of something else: parent-shaming.
The judgements against the parents of that poor child, who were wading with him in shallow water near a Disney World resort when he was attacked, have been fast and furious in certain corners of the internet--and it was all too much for one mom and writer, Melissa Fenton, to take.
She recently wrote a bold, impassioned plea to other parents, and it's now being shared everywhere. Her message, loud and clear? The shaming of parents has got to stop.
First, she invokes the long-ago cases we all remember of Baby Jessica, the little girl who fell and got trapped in a well on her family's property, and Adam Walsh, the young boy who was abducted and later killed while out shopping with his mom.
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"In both cases a tragedy happened, an unforeseen tragic accident took place which left Adam dead, and a toddler fighting for her life deep underground. But they also has something else in common; they had an entire country of moms and dads supporting the grieving parents. EVERYONE SUPPORTED THE RESCUE EFFORTS WITHOUT BLAME... No questions asked, not one single 'Where were the parents?' comment. Just a country of other moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas watching in horror as a set of parents, one of their own, went through the unthinkable. Adam was our son. Jessica was our baby daughter," Fenton wrote in her powerful statement, which has been shared more than 250,000 times since she posted it.
"Flash forward to 2016, the year of the perfect parent," she continues. "I mean, random acts of nature, unpreventable tragedies, and fateful life changing events that take place in a matter of nanoseconds cannot possibly take place if everyone is being a responsible parent, right? NOPE," she wrote, citing examples of the callous comments people have made online about this and other so-called preventable tragedies involving children.
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Overall, she begs parents to "put down the pitchforks" and remember the unspeakable pain and anguish of parents who lose a child to a tragic accident.
"To the mother and father who went for a walk on vacation for the last time with their little boy yesterday... I grieve with you. Your baby was my baby. Your son was my son... I wrap my thoughts and prayers around your aching heart and soul. May the God of this universe in some miraculous way bring peace to you and your family... That is what you say. THAT. And just THAT."
Can't say we disagree. Read her entire, jaw-dropping statement is here.