There are a few stories in the media that catch our attention and have the potential to mold us, change us, and help us grow. The story of a young mother of 4 children, Cherish Peterson, has been one of these for me personally. Have you all heard of this? This mother had a bad mom moment: she accidentally, without intent, thinking she had the baby with her, left her baby in his car seat in the bottom of a shopping cart and drove away to other errands she needed to run. This could happen to anyone: brain research has actually shown us that this is how children are left in cars, left places, etc. because she got out of her routine in a small way and really thought she had placed the baby behind her seat when she left. After errands, her older child happened to ask where the baby was, and she turned around to see the baby was not there. She panicked, called her husband, and rushed back to the store. You can see her whole side of the story here: Cherish’s Side of the Story.
Now, let me tell you why this story has changed me. People who have no idea who she is, or who just have read a headline by the news, have judged her and said TERRIBLE things about her. I have been appalled at what has been said about her, and I have only read a few comments. I have rushed to her defense and joined the #istandwithcherish cause because we are ALL imperfect people. If we feel we have the right to judge someone’s entire character based on one decision, we are seriously messed up. I make mistakes EVERY DAY of my life, and I pray that I am forgiven and can move on and try to be better. However, do I give everyone else this same benefit of the doubt? In truth, no. I don’t.
I have always been the type of mom to judge teachers or babysitters based on ONE OR TWO accounts, good or bad, and have then requested teachers or babysitters based on only these accounts. I have always thought this was fair, and even passed on these stories to others to “warn” them about potential teachers or babysitters because I thought I was doing a service. I am ashamed to admit it, but that’s how I have lived up to this point.
This story has helped me change; I have promised myself I will no longer do this. If I want others to accept my shortcomings and forgive and move on, I will do the same for others.
Cherish, I am so sorry for what you are facing, and I simply have no idea how you must be feeling right now, but there has been some good come from this. People have come together: the #istandwithcherish Facebook group is over 17,000 as of this morning! And your story, Cherish, has changed me for the better, and for that, I thank you.
I invite any of you reading this to join with me and all other imperfect people and Stand With Cherish and every other imperfect person!!