By now, everyone has heard of the tragic death of Harambe and certainly everyone has an opinion on whether or not the Cincinnati Zoo officials were justified in his fatal shooting.
I will leave primate behavior interpretation to the professional zoologists because, quite frankly, I cannot even keep a four-pound house cat from peeing on the carpet.
One thing the entire world seems to agree on; however, is that the mother of the four-year-old boy should be publicly shamed, sued…maybe even stoned…because she “let” him climb through the barrier and fall into that moat.
I don’t know if the father was there, but we know she was because her voice is on the video; comforting her son and telling him that he will be okay.
It seems; at least from the opinion of the Armchair Zoologists, that her voice was only agitating Harambe.
Add it to her long list of mistakes - memes flooding my Facebook show a picture of Harambe and the text "I was killed beacuse a b*%ch wasn't watching her child."
My oldest son, Garrett, was born with Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS). He has a long list of developmental disabilities: low muscle tone, intellectual disabilities and self-injurious behaviors.
And he has gotten away from me. In public places and at home. More than once and for long periods of time.
When he was seven years old, Garrett got out of bed in the middle of the night, opened our front door and left.
Although Garrett was not in any danger of Western lowland silverback gorillas, our area has a high number of coyotes.
We can hear them from our house at night.
Luckily, our neighbor leaves for work at this time and brought Garrett home.
My husband and I were terrified that Garrett would try to get out of the house again.
A few days later, our minister informed us that someone from our church had donated the cost of the installation and the first three months of coverage.
That alarm saved Garrett a total of three times.
It wasn’t only while I was sleeping that I failed to protect my son. The day he jumped out of a second story window I was in the kitchen.
I thought he was watching television in the next room until I heard him land on the concrete sidewalk.
And he was missing for twenty minutes at the Children’s Museum. We stood outside the play house door, not realizing that there was a second exit until he was long gone.
I don’t know the child from the zoo, but I assume that he is a typical four-year-old.
I have two other boys and I have failed them as well. It’s not just the extra vigilance of a special needs child that is impossible to monitor every single second of the day.
The outrage is because a beautiful, endangered gorilla has been killed but the mother brought her children to see these animals. Surely she cares about Harambe, too.
And I imagine she blames herself.
But, I cannot imagine how she feels knowing that the entire world blames her as well.
Although I have never met her, I know who she is. On another day, she would have been me.
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