A Dark Place

I am the type of person who always wants the believe in the good in other people. I have been bitten by that hard many times in my life, but I continue to believe it. But at the same time finding out that Baby Tyler’s mother was responsible for his murder is one of those things that tries that piece of me in a way that is hard to recover from.

As a human we all have our dark moments, but it has to be one of the darkest places a person can go to be able to look at their own child and be able to beat them with such force, so often that their little life slips from them.

My gut reaction to hearing his mother had done this was tears. Tears that would not stop all day today. They caught my breath and surprised me. I cannot fathom that the last moments of that poor baby’s short life-one that had not had enough time to develop a callous, one that didn’t have time to become jaded-were spent scared and afraid of the person he loved the most in this world. A person he trusted.

And I can’t fathom just how dark of a place his mother could have been in to watch his fear, pain and suffering without being able to have one joyful memory call her back and make it stop.

I heard many people say they weren’t surprised to hear today’s news. That the Casey Anthonies of this world have become so much a part of our American psyche that they knew his mother was responsible before she was arrested today. What a sad mark upon the face of this world that is. I don’t blame them though, and they were right.

But as a mother it is so far from my comprehension and belief in people to be able to fathom that a person is capable of murdering their own child. And so many times this has happened lately. It tries a person’s resolve, and it is haunting.

Never Will I Ever…

Today at 3:15pm my heart stopped beating for a moment. Not only my heart, but the hearts of hundreds of mothers around the St. Louis area stopped, too. That’s when many of us began hearing that 18-month-old* Tyler Dasher, a little boy the same age as my Boogie, was taken from his crib in the middle of the night and the police were searching for him.

Bits of information, the color of his pajamas, his blanket, anything that might help the search began furiously circulating on social media and local news outlets.

I can’t tell you how many times I have awoken in a panic to find the clock reading 9:30am, realizing I didn’t wake up to Boogie’s special brand of  morning screeches.  It’s a parent’s worst nightmare-something happens in those few, vulnerable hours when you aren’t there to stop it. Call it new parent panic, or just being a parent, it’s the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.

Tears burned my eyes just a few hours later when I noticed updates about the case had stopped scrolling across the bottom of my screen. The SARAA alert had been called off. I dreaded every second I watched the screen as I hit rewind, finally seeing those last few scrolling sentences say they had identified the body found near the boy’s home as Tyler’s.

I grabbed Boogie tight, gave her as many kisses as I could until she head-butted the bridge of my nose nice and good, and decided this…

Never will I ever feel sorry for myself because I had to clean up your spilled cup of milk.

Never will I ever take for granted that you will be there when my work is through.

Never will I ever promise a moment to someone who won’t appreciate it the way you would.

Never will I ever feel it can’t get any worse when I can hear your giggles.

Never will I ever take one smile, one moment, one day for granted. Not as long as I am your mommy and you are my Boogie.

My gratitude mixes with pain as my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the mother and family who are today facing their worst nightmare.

**Updated at 10:02pm, Tyler was actually 13-months-old at the time of his murder, not 18 months as I had originally read.