These were the words Jennifer Venditti wrote beside the hash tag, in her post June 15. Just one hour before the two-year old boy was dragged away by an alligator at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, her own three-year old had waded in these same waters.
Here is a portion of her blog: “PRAY, PRAY so hard for the family & for those who witnessed this tragic event. I took these pics at the exact spot this happened betw 8 & 830, the incident happened at 9. Helicopters flew overhead til 1 am and were back around dawn. I can’t imagine anyone could sleep knowing that the helicopter was searching for a missing child taken by an alligator. I can’t help but wonder if we played with him, did I talk to his Mom?? How does one go home without your baby in tow?
I’ve already seen posts criticizing the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all when Channing was in the water. It’s a tiny beach, surrounded by pools, water slides, a restaurant and a fire pit. I can’t conceive that an alligator would be in such a busy, small space. #judgelesspraymore
We have been given the right to free speech, but some of us need to have governors imbedded in our brains. How easy it is to stand back in horror and blame the parents for what they ‘should-have or could-have’ done. It’s natural for any child to put their toes in the water on a beach simply marked “No Swimming.”
We’ve just been reeling from the episode at the Cincinnati Zoo where another three-year old fell into a gorilla exhibit and was slung around by a 450 pound gorilla. No parent should have to endure either of these calamities – much less the ridicule that follows.
A parent will always suffer self-recrimination and agony over the ‘shoulda/coulda’s.’ Whenever you, an observer, encounter such a situation, push the ‘comfort button’ in your heart instead of the ‘ridicule button’ in your brain.
Adjust your mouth and pen accordingly: And as Jennifer Venditti writes: Judge Less, Pray More.