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Have pity on a mother’s mistake

Posted: August 25, 2008 6:49 p.m.
Updated: October 27, 2008 5:01 a.m.
This letter is another in response to The Signal's article on July 25, headlined "Family grapples with loss of toddler."

I do understand the critique of the public on this story. I have said myself in the past "C'mon ... how can you forget your baby?" But please, don't criticize your neighbor unless you've walked a mile in their shoes. What a sad situation ... and it could have been me. Read on.

My best friend and I have seven children between us, at the time of this incident ranging from 1-14 years old. We always traded cars in the parking lot at work, as we worked opposing shifts to help each other out. Her little one was a year old.

I did the rounds about town picking up the kiddos one October.

I pulled into my driveway, asked the 14-year-old to get the baby, and proceeded to the mailbox. I picked up the mail, and wandered back up the driveway ... the door to the Suburban was open. "Hm," I wondered. "Who the heck did that?"

I pushed the door shut, locked it, and went inside. I always counted kids in my head on the seven-kids days. I counted one through six, missed seven, and still proceeded to plop down to open the mail.

Something wasn't right. I counted again ... still I opened a few pieces of mail ... then, and only then, my heart sank.

Seven! I forgot number seven! That's why the door was opened. Number seven was still in his car seat!

I started bawling my eyes out and ran out to get him. He was just sitting there looking at me like I was a nut job crying and carrying on. I took him into the kitchen and sat on the floor with him crying, my legs were too wobbly to stand.

All the kids gathered round wondering what my problem was.

I forgot this child for at least five minutes! What if that were not just five minutes? What if I'd have let something terrible happen to my best friend's baby boy?

I sat there and cried and tried to make the poor tot drink cold juice to cool him, but he just wanted to go play with the big boys, thank heavens.

I called my friend in tears and told her what I had almost done. I will never forget the horrible feeling when I realized that I had forgotten one of them.

I can't even imagine how a mommy must feel after such a tragic accident. May God bless her and her family.

I'd love to give her a big hug, and so wish I could do something to ease her pain.

Sadly, we can't bring baby Jack back, but Mom will have to wake up to her mistake forever.


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