A 4-year-old just earned himself a lifetime of guilt after he figured out how to start the family minivan and with his 5-year-old brother beside him, accidentally ran down his mother and three-week-old baby brother. It is a heartbreaking story made even worse by the fact that the mother will be OK, but the baby was killed.
The mother, who was holding her baby, apparently ended up under the car after attempting to stop the rolling vehicle. It is an awful situation all around. Surely the mother will never forgive herself for what happened, but the boy will be scarred, too.
He was so small, he could not have even known any better, but that won't stop him from blaming himself. And then that poor mom.
She is going to have to live with her own guilt. Yes, we can all wonder how her 4-year-old got the keys and got into the car, but I would hope that any semi rational person with more than one child knows what it is like to have a newborn and an older child. Well, she had TWO older children and a newborn. Obviously the children were not unsupervised. She came running as soon as she heard the ignition.
Maybe she was nursing the baby or maybe he needed something at that moment and she was tending to him. Whatever the reason, she had no way of knowing her older son would take the keys and start the car. When a new baby comes into the family, the children react in a variety of ways. Maybe he was acting out and this was his little act of rebellion.
Regardless of the cause, there is no one really to blame here. But that will not stop them all from blaming themselves. If he has good parents, they will get the poor little boy some therapy to deal with the trauma of what happened.
As for the mom, I am sure she will also be haunted by what transpired for the rest of her life. There is no way to make things any easier, but I hope she will not blame herself forever. No matter what, something like this could happen to any of us.
My heart goes out to them all.
Do you think the mom should feel guilty?