Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Prayers for Kyron

I’m not quite sure what has touched me about Kyron Horman, missing since Friday, June 4th. Granted, it’s my worst nightmare, but dozens of children go missing each day. Maybe it’s because he went missing in Oregon and it touches too close to home. Maybe it’s because his disappearance seems to have struck the same chord with the media and those searching for him. Maybe it’s because he just looks so innocent and so tiny, with his big glasses and gap-toothed smile, his friendly and utterly open expression. Whatever it is, I can’t ignore it. I check the news reports constantly, hoping for the happy news that he’s found. Safe. And soon. Very soon.

I think the first impulse was to blame the school. What were their security measures? Did they allow just anyone to walk in and snatch up this little child? How could they make it so easy? My opinion may be unpopular, but I don’t think it’s fair to blame the school, or the teachers or school systems in general. They’re already overburdened. True, we entrust them with our children every day and there is a certain level of expectation that we’re leaving them in a safe place. But it doesn’t start with the schools.

The overwhelming burden is on each of us as a member of society. In a country where voting is our right, we have to ensure that the laws on child predators are stricter and enforced each and every time. These “people” should not be walking among us freely. I don’t believe there is rehabilitation for a person who could harm and violate a child. It’s not a simple character flaw, it’s not a minor offense. Abusing a child changes who they are, it changes the people around them, it bruises their very soul, forever and always.

It’s also up to us. It's a fine line. Government agencies are criticized for overreacting, or not doing enough. Not doing enough in time, before it’s too late. Again, the systems are overburdened and, although there are legitimate complaints, we share responsibility as well. Don’t mistake me, the extremes are too easy to fall into. I don’t want anyone knocking on my door asking if my daughter has done her homework or frowning when I have a glass of wine. I don’t want to overstep my bounds with my neighbor and how they discipline (or sometimes worse, don’t) their own children. But I think if you have a gut feeling that something just isn’t right, you see a child and an adult who don’t look right together, a little girl looks too lost, a little boy seems too quiet for his age, tell someone. Pay attention to the man seemingly without a family in a family-centered environment. Listen to a child who asks for help. Watch for the toddler who seems to wander off a bit too far. I know if it were my child, I’d be praying that you would.

Just as I’ll be praying for the safe return of little Kyron Horman and then end of this nightmare for his parents.


L. Ottaviano said...

It must be a sign of my faith in society, but my mind keeps thinking that someone *didn't* actually take him. One minute he's walking down a school hallway, and the next minute...what? How old is this school building? Does it have some sort of sneaky closets, spaces behind the furnace, a basement with lots of pipes? I can't help thinking he's still in the school building somewhere (where, yes, of course, I'm sure they've checked). Probably because I don't want to believe that someone would walk up to him and take him away. And not come forward already. So troubling, indeed.

The Martini Chronicles. Design by Exotic Mommie. Illustraion By DaPino