Little Rowan Bracci died from a blow to the head. According to his mother, 19-year-old Amber Bracci, she hit him because she believed he was "possessed." What a heartbreaking story.
When I hear a story like this, the first thing I want to do is make a sweeping statement about parents who are too young or mothers who are too stressed. I want some kind of solution, something that will help ease the situation and ensure it won't happen to another baby ever again.
But most parents know better than to strike their babies (thank god). They are smart enough to realize that babies have fits and moods and that doesn't mean they're "possessed." And they also don't lie once they're confronted with their mistake and try to make it look like they're crazy. I don't believe for a second she thought he was possessed.
The worst part is that this mother had the nerve to go on television and say that she loved her son with all of her heart. "I may not have been a perfect mother," she said (understatement).
We all have moments where our children drive us to the brink. Both of my children seem to know how to push all of my buttons. They have tantrums that shake the Earth, and most of the time, they happen just when I want to leave the house or be somewhere. But never in all those crazy moments, even when I was at my most angry and beside myself, did it ever occur to me to strike them.
I'm not a perfect mother, either. But you don't have to be a perfect mother not to strike your children. You just have to have some measure of self-control, which clearly this mother didn't have.
By saying her baby is "possessed," I wonder if she thinks she will get off easier. Maybe she thinks people will assume she was unfit for motherhood or had some kind of psychotic break. But to me, it just sounds like a girl who couldn't handle parenthood or herself and lashed out at the easiest target. And it was her little baby who paid the price.
I don't believe her for a second.
Do you think she actually believed her baby was "possessed"?
Image via Phillie Casablanca/Flickr