The greatest fear that a parent of a vulnerable child has is that someone will hurt them. Bully them. Abuse them. And to make it worse…kids like Cooper can’t say anything. They can’t tell their moms or dads. Or any adult.
I spend nights lying awake worrying that someone will hurt my baby. And the only way he can communicate is to start other behaviors. Like hitting or kicking.
He is one of the most vulnerable.
And there is nothing we as parents can do. We can’t hide them. We can’t lock them up. Instead we send them out into the world and trust the people around us.
6 months ago Cooper started kicking and hitting. He stopped sleeping. He turned into a different kid. I knew something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then, I had a bad interaction with his van driver. I stopped services immediately. The driver called me up and screamed at me. He said…’just let me pick up the kid.’ I knew something was very wrong.
Within a week of stopping the bus Cooper was back to normal.
To this day I don’t know what happened. Was he hit. Yelled at. Touched inappropriately. Belittled.
I am still angry at myself for not knowing.
If you go on Facebook or watch the news today you will see the story of the 4 teens in Chicago torturing a special needs boy.
I can’t watch it. It’s too real for me.
They are calling it a hate crime.
I don’t give a fuck about color. Black, white, yellow or red.
This is a hate crime against the most vulnerable. The innocent.
When you start hurting the most vulnerable of people and broadcasting it live for the world to see….well, that my friends is a morals problem. An education problem.
That is all the ugly in the world manifesting itself at once.
I am so saddened today. My heart is broken.
Hug your babies tonight friends. Whisper in their ear and tell them that they matter. They are people too.