There's good parenting, there's bad parenting and then there's REALLY bad parenting
May, who is currently in remission after battling cancer for more than 2 years, will not be making a trip to DisneyWorld, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation because her father, who recently re-obtained visitation rights with her, would not agree to it. May’s father, William, believes that such gifts should be given to those who are terminally ill. Since McKenna is no longer considered terminally ill, William would not sign the trip agreement.
So, the question we’re asking today is: Is William practicing good parenting or is he being unjust in his decision.
Personally, I’ve never been to DisneyWorld. I have, however, been four years old before. I have been considered terminally ill in my life. I have been diagnosed with a chronic disorder that often times is granted wishes by Make-A-Wish. However, I have been taught to not take advantage of things that I do not qualify for by definition.
For example, though my condition justifies me getting a handicap sticker on my license plate, I do not have one. I feel that those spaces should go to those who are much more deserving of them. As a result, I personally choose to walk a few more feet, because I have that ability.
It took me years to sign up for FMLA with my previous employment. I didn’t feel initially that my health concerns would justify me taking time off every once in a while to ensure my health.
As a child, I always felt guilty because I would get to be put in front of various lines because of my condition. I wanted to wait in line just like everyone else (though, I admit, being able to go first at amusement parks was kind of nice!).
And so, I never was a fan of receiving charity. As a matter of fact, three years ago, I qualified to go to DisneyWorld with my family, free of charge. I just had to get there under my own power. The trip happened to land on my daughter’s birthday. I had the opportunity to be the best mommy in the entire world. But, because it was granted to patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa (which is the condition I was born with), I eventually rescinded my stake on the claim and opted to have it given to a child who was much sicker and more terminal than I ever was.
And so, do I feel that Mr. May is being a bad parent? Not necessarily. The original mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation was to give terminally ill children one final wish… one last memory… before they pass. Now, Make-A-Wish gives these away to even those who may not be given ‘the bad news’, but to those with chronic and ‘potentially’ life threatening illnesses.
As McKenna’s condition was at one point life threatening, she qualified twice, but could not go because of her state. I understand where her father is coming from. He is trying to teach his child to not take charity where charity isn’t deserved. I get that. In that instance, I say good for him.
However, at the same time, I feel that since Make-A-Wish has offered little McKenna the trip based upon the last two years of her life, which was in the balance, he should let her go. She’s only four. He can teach her charity and selflessness another day.
And then there’s bad parenting…
I work nights at the Democrat-Gazette, so, I was immediately aware of the shooting in Colorado while the rest of the country was sleeping. I was among the first to hear of babies in the theater, possibly covered in blood….
Batman: Dark Knight is rated PG-13, which translates, generally, to “lots of violence, maybe some sex and probably a few f-bombs”.
What happened 12 hours ago was a horrific tragedy, there’s no doubt. I feel sorry for everyone that was involved. The image I saw from the home video of a man completely covered in blood being escorted out of the theater by a police officer is now indelible in my mind.
Why, on this green earth would a parent take an infant with them to a PG-13 movie? Granted, when Kathryn was 3 months old, I took her to a movie. But, I took her to see “Shrek”, a happy light-hearted children’s movie with adult undertones. I did not take my 3-month-old to a loud, voilence-ridden action-packed movie that could have made my infant wail at loud, earth-shaking noises.
Some may say I may not understand the parents’ situation, or that I may never know what reason a parent had for taking their infant to the theater.
There IS no reason to take your infant to a PG-13 or higher movie; much less a midnight first-showing of such movie as was this case.
If you can’t find a babysitter, you simply don’t go and wait for the movie to come out at your local RedBox. George and I had to do that countless times when Kathryn was an infant. We couldn’t afford a babysitter and our closest relative was 700 miles away.
A nine-year-old I understand. I get that. I have one of those now. But an infant?! Or even a preschooler?! Really?! Grow up, stay home and be a parent and thank whatever God you believe in that your child is unharmed.
And then there’s REALLY bad parenting…
This weekend, a young girl from Wisconsin will be returning home after a week of summer camp, just as she’s done every year for the past ten years.
I held that young girl at summer camp hours after she was born. I changed her diapers. I even allowed her to help me decide which wedding dress was prettiest. She made me a bracelet when she was 4. It’s still in my jewelry box.
I attended college in River Falls, WI and lived there for three years afterwards. River Falls is small. Everyone there knows everyone else in one way or another. I even made a friend here in Arkansas who happened to live there around the same time I did, though we didn’t meet until 3 years ago.
River Falls is a town where something as minor as a break-in shocks the town. I know. I was the victim of such crime in said town. It was front page news the following day.
And so, such a crime as a murder silences the town. A triple murder is shocking. A triple murder committed by the children’s’ father is unfathomable. For a father to stab his three children in the neck and then tuck them back in their beds and then call their mother and tell her that he killed her babies sounds like something out of a horror movie. But it happened.
It happened to a classmate of the little girl returning from camp this week. It happened to two girls the same age as the children of a former boyfriend of mine. It happened to a student of a friend’s neighbor.
It happened yards from the home of the little girl returning from camp.