What if you were faced with having to choose who you would save? Photo via Arjun Kartha.
In 2005, Ayelet Waldman, wife of fellow author Michael Chabon, wrote an essay that went viral and received scathing vitriol when the mother of four declared that she felt her relationship with her husband was more than the relationship with her own children, adding that she felt she could move on after the death of her child, but would be completely devastated over the loss of her husband.
“He, and I, are the core of what he cherishes . . . the children are satellites, beloved but tangential,” Waldman wrote.
It was the main topic of conversation between chatty parents at the playground after Waldman appeared on Oprah to defend her stance that her husband came first, her children, second.
It reminded me of that old psychological question, “If your family was in a life raft, and you could only save one, who would you choose?”
It’s a really disturbing question to ask. Makes you want to put your fingers in your ear and sing, “La, la, la, la, la, la, la.” It sends shivers up your spine. For me, dying together in a plane crash would be better than having to choose the value order of my family’s lives.
Recently, a father got in hot water after his kids were left in the car alone. Gage Eason left his 6-month-old son and 18-month-old daughter in their minivan while he went into a gun store to browse some firearms. Someone saw the kids and called police , who then called the man’s wife. The wife, Hailie Eason, 21, is also pregnant with the couple’s third child on top of having to deal with a douche bag of a husband.
The father admits he screwed up. He claims he simply made a bone-headed mistake and lost track of time, saying, “I love my kids and there’s nothing more important than my kids. People make mistakes every day.”
Meanwhile, the children were taken from the couple. CPS came to the house and took custody of the kids.
So Ms. Eason said this about her husband, “Yeah, I’m mad at him. Why wouldn’t I be? My kids have been ripped from me.”
As I read the story, I wondered how the wife could allow her children to go into foster care, essentially choosing her husband over her children.
(And because I have my child services degree from Dog: The Bounty Hunter, I know that if you kick the person out of your home who has access to the children CPS is trying to protect, you can keep your children. So, Hailie Eason could have told her husband to sleep on his friends couch until this all got worked out and kept her children with her, but she didn’t.)
Thankfully, I’m not married to someone who would leave young children in the car for an hour. Maybe 3 minutes, but not an hour.
But if he did get busted by police in those rare 3 minutes and they threatened to take our kids away, his ass would be on some Facebook acquaintance’s couch before I could say, “Fix this!”
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