My license plate reads IDEALST, but when it comes to the cruel realities of crime in our society I am very much a realist. I am acutely aware of the heinous things that sick and deviant people will visit upon innocent others – particularly children. That is why I have been labeled by Cheyenne as the meanest and most unreasonable mom EVER (note – EVER includes a pretty darn big window of time – I count this as quite an accomplishment). I know that criminals are opportunistic and they tend to victimize the vulnerable and unprotected. I know that sometimes even a parent’s best efforts are not enough to protect their children.
Yet, even as I know this I am always completely sickened to learn of the murder of a child. The recent confession regarding the murder of the missing nine year old Indiana girl – Aliahna Lemmon – by a man who was babysitting her and considered a trusted neighbor reminded me that sometimes the regular mechanisms we hope will protect our children simply do not. And yes, this is the child who was missing from the 24 unit mobile home park that contained 15 sex offenders. Obviously not the best place for kids, but let’s face it – not all kids have the benefit of all the protection mechanisms. That is the cruelest reality of all.
That is why I can live with the label of the meanest and most unreasonable mom EVER – I know that I am fortunate to be able to live up to those attributes. I understand that I have more options and layers as far as protective measures go. I also realize that even with those options and layers – no child, indeed – no person – is completely protected from the reality of this type of violence.
The fact that Aliahna’s life ended violently should remind us all to be aware of the vulnerabilities we face at any given moment from those who would visit harm upon us. Parents should be particularly cognizant of this as children are so much more easily targeted. And perhaps we all can keep an extra watch out over those kids that have less options and layers of protective mechanisms – long before they become the focus of a frantic missing child search.
Nine hundred and four of the new forty – obla di obla da