“You’re Not a Parent so You Don’t Understand.”


There are maybe, at best, five statements that someone can utter that makes me dig my fingernails into my palm. This is one of them.

I get it, the love a parent has for a child is something different than the love any other person has for anyone else. But it doesn’t mean you have any better ability to feel or understand pain than someone else.  It doesn’t mean you have an increased ability to do the right thing for someone else.

That phrase irks me no matter what, but this particular time it’s actually situational. First off, there have been a rash of hit and run accidents in my general area recently. It’s so pronounced that there’s a currently a high-profile hit and run trial taking place, and one of the jurors was dismissed for his own hit and run (no casualties), and then just a few days later, within 24 hours, there were four more hit and runs. I know that in one of them, a young boy died. I just heard about one of them today so I don’t know the details, and the other two involved serious injury but I don’t yet know whether anyone died.

In the case of the young boy who died, the man who was driving was caught because a witness who saw the accident jumped into his car and followed him. Afterwards, while trying to dismiss any claims of being a hero, he stated, “I’m just doing what any dad would do.”

Or, how about, what any decent human being would do? Being a dad doesn’t suddenly make you any more of a Good Samaritan.

The next issue came up in a Facebook discussion. A former classmate of mine posted a question, wondering what makes these people run? One of our fellow former classmates is in jail right now for a hit and run last fall in which, again, a young boy died. So knowing someone who’s been on that side, it makes us that much more curious. The ponderance went on, questioning whether or not it was strict DWI laws that cause people to run (all spelling and grammar mistakes are his):

A couple of thoughts:
1. I think the reason people dont stop is because of how strict the dwi laws have become. They know that if they stop they’re license is gone, they have to pay around 5 grand to defend the case and they’re lives will be forever changed. Plus these people are drunk when faced with the decision to stop so making good choices is even harder when all those thoughts are racing thru your head.
2. This neighbor saying he prayed to god so that he would find ettipio is so over the top. It’s bothers me when people try to interject god into every thing they do. I think it’s clear this “good Samaritan” is loving being the hero based on all of his quotes. I applaud his efforts but the whole “god please guide my car to this boys house” crap was a turn off.
3. There need to be sidewalks on [Street], [Street],  and [Street]. I thought that back when I use to bike when I was younger, parts of [Street] can be quite dangerous.
4. I knew someone who hit a kid and killed him and he DID stop and call police. It was dark and there was also no sidewalk on the strip of [Street] he was on but he still went to jail. I think there needs to be more leniency for those who hit and don’t run.
5. We need to install Breathalizers in all cars and u need to blow into it for the car to start. Would this be inconvenient yes but would it be any worse than buckling your seat belt, people were against seat belts when they first were made illegal not to have it on. So automakers and congress let’s get on this!

Off course people were all over the Breathalyzer thing, about how there’s no way that will happen, whining about how now no one will even be able to have a glass of wine with dinner (proving that either they know nothing about what the legal limit is or they actually have more than one glass), and how much of a hassle it would be.

But the thing that annoyed me, was another former classmate, who essentially said that none of those issues are even relevant, that the only thing that matters is that a child’s life is lost, that it’s the only point that should be made:

Are any of you parents?  Not accusing, just asking?  Because when something happens a mere 100 yds from your house and brings your wife and you to silence and years thinking in a mere decade the child sleeping in your crib could very well be the child dead on the side of the road, the least important things are most of the points raised here. Now is the time to reflect and if you don’t have a child you have no idea what I mean because you don’t yet possess the thing you’ll never wanna lose. There’s nothing more important in life than life itself, not a Facebook post missing the absolute point.

Not accusing, but at the same time telling us that we have no idea. No, maybe we don’t know what it’s like to lose a child, but you know what? Neither do you. Because as you stated, your child is sleeping in a crib. Anyone who has a child in their life that they live for, whether offspring, godchild, sibling, can sympathize. They don’t have to be a parent.

I responded, indicating that the initial questions don’t miss the point, they simply bring up other points, ones that, if answered, if addressed, could prevent future deaths, thus eliminating that point altogether.

As you say, “speaking as a parent, these are the least important issues,” (yes, I summarized) I ask, why? All of these issues are important, because they can prevent these tragedies. Is that not the goal? Is that not something that you, as a parent, want to protect yourself and other parents from?

He has since not answered.  I think my point is proven. Sometimes, I wonder if that whole “you’re not a parent, so you don’t get it,” feeling is actually a bit of a handicap. Inhibiting people from seeing past the “it could have been my kid,” feeling and getting to the basis of figuring out how to prevent certain things from happening in the future.

Oh, and don’t let me get started on mothers telling other women that they don’t know what tired is.

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About Melissa Limasse

| Real name - Yeah right | Location – The State of Being | Worth - $2,425,486 | Education – B.A. Sociology and Psychology, A.As. in Criminal Justice | Single, childless, and completely satisfied with both, Ms. Limasse doesn’t fit into the traditional “female” mold. Most people would say she’s intimidating. Anything that she says here she has most likely already said out loud View all posts by Melissa Limasse

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