A Bad Childhood Is No Excuse for 'Kidnapping' a Baby, Mr. Kennedy

kennedy takes baby out hospital(Not Kennedy baby)Earlier this year a very bizarre situation was taking place in a maternity ward in upstate New York. Douglas Kennedy, son of Senator Robert Kennedy, was charged with child endangerment and harassment as nurses claimed he got violent as he tried to take his 2-day-old baby outside of the hospital.

While I thought it seemed ridiculous to try to remove a baby from the hospital at that stage, obviously, I wasn't there. So if Kennedy was simply taking his new son for a walk, it doesn't seem like it should be national news. But if Kennedy was instead twisting arms and kicking nurses and trying to run free with his baby, well, that doesn't seem like a great idea.

Regardless, Kennedy was in court today defending himself and invoking his own childhood as a defense citing the loss of his father due to his assassination. Do these two things have anything to do with each other?


Douglas Kennedy, who was only a baby when Robert Kennedy was murdered, claims that he has the right to hold his baby and take him for a walk. He reminded the court that his own father was taken away, maybe using that as an excuse for his overly protective behavior.

I don't know what Kennedy did that day, but it goes without saying that being the son of a man who was assassinated and being robbed of a father would shape your world view. I would imagine, given the history, everyone in the Kennedy family would feel protective of their own. It's not like they have had an easy time of it with multiple tragedies taking away family members before their time. It's not hard to believe that extra caution is taken on every single Kennedy family outing.

When I was my daughter's age, I ran into traffic and hit a car. Yes, I hit a car, not the other way around. Now I'm totally paranoid about my kids getting anywhere near the street. It's a pretty direct correlation. My own mother had a fear of the water, and she naturally tried to keep us far away from the lake.

Whether this defense works in court, is another issue. But I think we can all agree that we carry our childhood fears into our parenthood. Perhaps that's at the root of the (possible?) overreaction on the part of this new dad.

Do you think Kennedy's childhood had anything to do with this case?

Image via Kit4na/Flickr

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