...to drive a car, to sell real estate, to practice medicine, to sell liquor, blah, blah, you get the idea. But you do not need a license to have a baby and raise that child. Any idiot can do that. And most do.
Case in point, the woman I saw today at the lake on the Subase. She walked onto the sand carrying the usual paraphernalia: beach bag, blanket, toys, and a car seat/baby carrier. A young man/teen was accompanying her holding the hand of who I can assume was her son, a very small child, probably 2-ish. Nothing out of the ordinary yet. The young man took the little boy into the water and they played while the woman watched from the shore. The baby stayed in the car seat. In the sun. The woman went into the water and swam. The baby stayed in the car seat. In the sun.
Finally she took the baby from the seat. This little one could not have even been a month old. She was so tiny, with little chicken legs waving. The mom held her in one arm while she sprayed her, front and back, with sunscreen. Then rubbed some on her little face. I was in shock, and commented so all within earshot could hear me. No one else seemed to care or notice.
Once "mom" deemed her child was safe from the sun, she took her into the chlorinated lake, splashed her around, dunked her once or twice (now into the sunscreen-slick surrounding them), and then put her back into the car seat. She didn't rinse her off, change the chlorine-soaked diaper, or dry her. I just stared. I wanted to approach her, and I know I should've - I am ashamed I didn't - but I could predict the outcome and was not up for a confrontation. In the mood I have been in I am sure I would be writing this from jail.
I know this mom was not beating her children and it could have been worse, perhaps she does not know any better, and it was obvious she loves her kids. My only hope is that these two children grow up to be healthy well-adjusted adults despite their naive or incompetent mother. I hope it is the former and she learns right from wrong soon.