Thursday, October 2, 2008

Abandonment Issues


Earlier this evening, I read a New York Times article that I thought had to be either a joke or the premise to a goofy Ben Stiller movie. Its headline: Older Children Abandoned Under Law for Babies.

It's actually quite true and quite sad. Apparently in Nebraska, a new Safe Haven law -- which allows mothers to leave their newborns at certain facilities such as hospitals without the fear of prosecution -- has caregivers thinking they have the green light to abandon their teenagers (!).

Forget newborns, it's the teens that are too hard to handle.

People are now outraged, saying this is a blatant misuse of the law. I'm on board with that, but reading about these caregivers' troubles really gave me pause. (The poor father of 10 whose wife had died in childbirth felt overwhelmed with it all and decided to keep only his oldest, leaving the other nine at an Omaha hospital.)

Two days ago, C learned how to crawl out of her crib. Her M.O. is to hook one foot over the top edge, pull herself up and over, and shimmy down the other side. (I had to see it to believe it.) I had put her down for a nap, walked into the bathroom, and two minutes later she opened the door. I was stunned. And she was so proud. Then I put her back in the crib and watched as she performed her magic once again. She's an old pro now. It's all over. Then, this morning, she tried to crawl out of the window.

The point is, I (like most parents, I'm sure) identify with feeling overwhelmed sometimes. And while walking away seems unthinkable, I also can't imagine the road that leads you there. What someone said in the Times story is that there is help out there; you just have to find it.

So I found this site Weary Parent. It specifically discusses parenting teens and tweens. I have a decade, give or take, before I get there, but it's nice to know that there are places to go online (in addition to family and friends) when you might feel as if you'd like to hook one foot over the top edge, pull yourself up and over, shimmy down the other side and make a break for it.

1 comment:

Pat said...

That was amazing, and sad about the guy with 10 kids! There are so many blogs for babies and toddlers, but not that much for older kids...maybe by the time C is older, there will be. Time to put the mattress on the floor!

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