Last week, I read two stories in which the fear for children was cited. In one, a mother in Iowa was asked to nurse her 5 month old baby away from the play area at a mall because other mothers were “afraid for their children.” In another story, a community in Minnesota is fighting the inclusion of a facility for Alzheimer’s patients for fear that their kids might be hurt or traumatized by the patients.
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
Is this were we have come as a society? There are things to be afraid of: the guy with the puppy… and the van; that “weird” uncle; taxes; Democrats; Republicans; High Fructose Corn Syrup; Rogue Cheese Sandwiches; spiders; bees. But seriously, nursing mothers and old people??
I don’t know what the fears are. Maybe there is the fear that a nursing mom will *gasp* show how babies are designed to be fed (via the breast, not the bottle) or that a child might see a breast as more than just a device for sexual stimulation of men? (or maybe they were afraid that she was going to grab one of their kids and latch them on. hehehehe… random wet nursing.) And what about the patients with Alzheimer’s? God forbid we expose our children to all sort of different experiences. Getting old is part of life and for some, getting old is not easy.
We teach our kids compassion and empathy and understanding by giving them a plethora of experiences. In this way, our kids learn that part of life is relying on each other to get through.