I was on the phone tonight when I saw her picture on the news. It was a mug shot, but not like any mug shot I had ever seen. She was young, early twenties, with delicate features. Her sandy hair was long and pulled back in a low ponytail. She wore a sweatshirt, though I don't remember the color. It was her expression that held my attention. Her eyes were puffy and her nose was red. Her lips were pursed together tightly and she was obviously trying to stifle her sobs. This pretty young woman was in agony. I tuned out the person on the phone to hear what the news anchor was saying about her. She was arrested after her 2-month old son had died. He had been shaken and beaten. Her boyfriend had also been arrested for his role in it.
It is a horrific thing for a child to die like that. It would be easy to say that mother is a monster. But my heart broke tonight for her. I cannot pass judgement. I have had moments of extreme frustration with an inconsolable infant who can't tell me what's wrong. I have been at the end of my rope and felt like I could lose it. I've been face to face with those dark thoughts. Fortunately I was able to make the choice to de-escalate the situation. She wasn't. Her tiny baby was taken by her own hand. This little soul had no choice...no control over the situation. But his mother did. She will live her life with this miserable knowledge. I am heartsick.
Tonight I kiss my babies as they lay sleeping, safe and sound and I pray for this young mother, who isn't a mother anymore.