Written by John Cave Osborne for Babble.com
A mom takes her 3-year-old to a swim lesson and comes back to find that her two other children have been fatally stabbed, allegedly by the family nanny. I finish reading the story, then close out of the window and walk away from the computer, hoping it's that simple to escape. But it's not. It stays with me for the rest of the night.
And nothing else matters.
I go to bed, but sleep doesn't come easily. I'm too busy thinking about the Krims.
The next morning on my way to the office, I remember something about the story -- something quite inconsequential, but something that gives me pause nonetheless. The second I get in front of my desktop, I check to see if my memory has deceived me.
It has not.
Marina Krim keeps a blog about her family.
It had been quoted in the original story I read. I surf around to find other stories and see the same quote -- the one about how great the nanny and her family are -- as well as pictures of the Krims' children -- pictures that look like they may have come from Ms. Krim's blog.
I'm not 100% certain, but I don't visit her blog to check. Visiting doesn't seem right, yet I'm certain that tens of thousands have done just that, and it strikes me as morbid, even by the standards of the very most seasoned rubberneckers. Looking at family photos so horribly out of the context in which they were originally presented.
I continue to surf and begin to find reactions to the story, most written by women, many using phrases like "every mom's worst nightmare." These words strike me as antiquated. The ones used to describe the story that made this dad cry. Would it be okay if I described it as "every dad's nightmare"?
The answer doesn't matter because I'd never describe it as such. It's every parent's worst nightmare. Maternity doesn't own this heartbreak. We all do. But not like the Krims, who not only own it, but are also forced to live it.
Many of the reactions I read focus on the practice of hiring nannies. Do people really need them? And how much can the folks who hire them ever really know about the nannies? Perfect, I think. The ink on the death certificates hasn't even had a chance to dry, yet the blame game is in full force.
I wonder if these idiots realize that statistics indicate a child is much more likely to be killed by his or her parent than a nanny before deciding it simply doesn't matter. Because the subtle digs throughout such pieces serve effective notice that they're not as much about hiring nannies or this horrific tragedy as they are about class envy.
I read other stories, including the ones written here at Babble, and many are thoughtful essays, indeed. One urges us to hug our nannies and I couldn't agree more. My family has had two different women who could be described as nannies, and I've thought of them both countless times since the night before. My faith in these women is not shaken. They're wonderful people and I love them very much.
My faith in mankind, however, continues to slide.
Friday night, my wife and I get the kids down early and have cocktails by an outside fire as I grill the NY Strips that we'll eat with the spinach Maria and cucumber salad my wife has prepared. It's supposed to be a romantic night, and for the most part it is, but there's still a melancholy that's impossible to shake.
Like countless others, we mourn the deaths of those beautiful, innocent children. We pray that the Krims somehow find the resolve needed to negotiate the road ahead. The one that we pray leads to some form of peace, as impossible as that might sound.
I go to bed and the Krims are still on my mind. And as much as I can't shake the horror, itself, there's something else I can't shake.
The world, it seems, is hung up on murderous nannies and assigning blame, but I'm stuck on parent blogs.
I get out of bed and go to the computer and start digging through my own blog, specifically looking for pictures of my children. There are many, and every single one shares something in common: it's a shot that my family and I have decided is okay for the world to see.
But what if tragedy befell my family, I wonder. What if my children were the victims of a heinous crime? And what if the link to my blog were shared in the context of this tragedy allowing thousands and thousands to see, not my beautiful children, but, instead, the victims of murder?
I grow frustrated with myself because I know that my personal blog would be the very least of my concerns in the wake of such horror, but I can't help but contemplate the scenario primarily because mourning is such a private and intimate thing. At least to me it is.
My family and I have given a lot of thought to parent blogging thanks to its public nature. We've tried hard to find the line that works best for us. And I believe we've found it thanks, in part, to putting one thing above all else: the lives of our children.
But now that I've learned about the Krim tragedy, I'm seeing my blog in a different light. Not the one that keeps my children's lives in mind. But rather their deaths.
By the time I'm back in bed, tears that feel like despair trickle aimlessly down my cheeks. Partly because I've spent the past five minutes imagining a scenario I'd give anything in the world to avoid.
And partly because, for one family, there's simply no avoiding it.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Krim family.
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