But anger at the boy’s mother is not.
Here’s the thing, there are essentially two kinds of people in the world: people who default to trust and people who do not. I think the boy’s mother, like me, is in the first camp. I generally trust people, institutions, experts. That’s not to say I don’t try to educate myself and make informed decisions. But, for instance, when my daughter got croup and her pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic, I was cool with it. I didn’t question why she was given an antibiotic for a viral infection. I just thought, hey, this doctor whom I have a longstanding relationship with and who went to medical school and has been in practice for many years – she knows what’s up. Or, how when I was at the park with all three kids and kid #2 had to go to the bathroom, I let kid #1 (who is 9) watch kid #3 for the two and a half minutes it took me to run into the bathroom. I trusted that the smattering of parents wasn’t going to abduct my children or call the police on me. I trust schools, I trust coaches, I trust FDA guidelines, I trust vaccines, I trust height requirements at the amusement park.
It never would have entered my mind that he would even try. Even if he expressly stated that he was going to. Know why? Because preschoolers spew utter nonsense all day every day, nonstop, with no reprieve or reason or ramification. I’m going to be your grandpa when I grow up. I’m going to punch you in the butt. I’m going to eat Sissy’s pillow. I’m going to make a real robot with blue ears. These are all statements my son made this past weekend. “I’m going to go see the gorilla” doesn’t sound totally left field to me, and it categorically would not have raised any alarm.
And why does it have to be anybody’s fault? I don't think it's the zoo's fault either, or the screaming crowd's or Harambe's or anyone's. Can’t we just all be collectively sad about it without assigning blame? The deluge of bullying tweets indicates that, no, we can’t.
Enough. Sometimes bad things happen and the best we can to is just express gratitude for what is not lost and move on.