January 2008


Phoebe is “due” today.  

Or rather, is 40 weeks pregnant, something of an arbitrary deadline actually, but a perfect time to send her some good thoughts.  She’s having an unassisted birth, something I thought very long and hard about doing, and still think that maybe I should have done.  UC’s are, from my perspective, both beautiful and scary.  It does make me want to send some extra love Phoebe’s way.  

There are manymanymany good-childbirth-type deities out there.  May they all watch over her. 

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Today is the third day in the trial of Karen McCarron. I wrote about Katie a few months ago.  Her story hit me hard from the moment I first heard it, not helped by the fact that Katie looked an awful lot like I did at that age.  Like a lot of people, I’ve felt the anger well up in the back of my throat when I’ve heard some of the things Karen said about her daughter.  I’ve argued the point on forums and with friends that to use this tragedy as an example of how hard parenting a special-needs child can be is simply horrifying.   

So I really didn’t expect my reaction to the trial to be what it has been. 

I am finding myself very, very sad for Karen McCarron.  The more things I hear about the day she killed her daughter, the more the actual words of her confession are made public, the more I can’t seem to bring up anything more than a terrible pity.  She did a terrible, irrevocable thing, and she will no doubt never live anything remotely resembling a normal life again.   A fundamental belief I hold, which comes from Buddhism but contains within it the essence of what drew me to Christianity, is that the spiritual salvation of humanity is an “all or nothing” proposition.  There can be no peace or enlightenment for me, for you, or for anyone that does not include this woman.  It is not for me to choose.  Somehow it comes close to explaining why I hide in the house most of the time: at this moment I can feel the love that did not exist between Karen and her daughter like a terrible personal loss… as though something has been taken from me.  My barriers are really, really weak, which is something that having a baby will do to you, and I need to step back, take a little time away from the world.

This is not something I can really understand or express, but this evening, for the most part, I simply find myself wishing Karen McCarron a peace that I know she is unlikely to ever find.        For Katie and for Karen.