As I poked through the online papers this morning, one theme seemed to jump out at me: babies. Babies were getting involved in all sorts of stories, and it seems that whenever a story involves a baby, it’s usually bad news.
In Erie, Pennsylvania, a couple was arguing. The woman got so mad at her boyfriend that she, in a blind fury, picked up the nearest object and hit him with it. Unfortunately, the object was their 4-week-old infant. The mother’s in jail and the boy is in serious but stable condition.
Last Saturday in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, a birthday party was disrupted by an ejected crasher. As a way of showing that he should have been allowed to stay, he shot up the gathering. One man was killed — right in front of his fiance’ and their almost-two-year-old son — who had to flee while the father took the bullet that could have killed either — or both — of them.
And over in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston, a baby boy is slowly struggling back to health after being abandoned in a vacant lot. The newborn — named “Jordan” by state officials — was found after he had been abandoned overnight while wrapped in a black garbage bag and with a towel around his head. His umbilical cord and placenta were still attached.
The most infuriating aspect of the whole story is that Massachusetts has a “safe haven” law. The mother of the newborn could have walked into any police station, fire station, or hospital and simply said “here, I don’t want him” and walked out unchallenged. The law was passed to prevent this sort of atrocity, which is becoming all too common.
Some day, I’d like to see a story in the news about a baby that wasn’t tragic or outrageous. But I’m starting to learn that “child,” “infant,” “toddler,” and “newborn” in a headline are usually bad omens.