I was horrified to wake up this morning to the news about the Dark Knight Rises shooting in Denver. I grew up in Aurora and used to get my Hello Kitty fix at that same mall. But the most heartbreaking part of this story, to me, is that there were children at that theater.
Among the reports was this shocking detail: The youngest person injured was a 4-month-old baby. OMG! Thankfully it turns out that may have been a FALSE report. I'm hearing that the baby was not injured, just taken to the hospital, treated, and released.
Meanwhile someone on my Facebook stream said she was baffled as to why there would be a 4-month-old at a midnight movie. Are we really doing that already -- judging the parents who brought that baby?
It's not what I ever did, but it's pretty common. Parents sometimes bring their babies to the movies. If you happen to have a heavy sleeper (and your baby would have to be a really heavy sleeper to make it through a loud action movie like Dark Knight), it just makes sense to bring the baby with you and let her sleep rather than paying for a sitter. Hopefully if the baby wakes, you're considerate of the other audience members and you step outside the theater. But anyway, most 4-month-old babies are not exactly on the kind of bedtime schedule school-aged kids get on. Who cares what time they're up?
But worse than that, this is just an incredibly insensitive time to be wagging disapproving fingers at the parents of children who were in that theater. Apparently there were other kids there. And so what? When a parent weighs the risk of taking their kids to a midnight movie, they're not considering the possibility that there might be a shooter there! It's summer. School is not in session.
Parents of kids who were in the theater last night need our support and compassion right now. Not our judgment.
**Update on baby** Jamie Rohrs describes how he felt holding his baby, Ethan, as James Holmes opened fire on the audience.
Have you ever taken a baby to the movies late at night?
Image via Elizabeth/Table45/Flickr