Disney world is a fantasy island filled with magical experiences. It is a place where dreams come true and is a must-see for almost every child and every adult in the world. It is a place that should take you on flights of fantasy… open up a “whole new world.” But on Tuesday… those dreams became a nightmare for a Nebraskan family when their 2-year-old boy was dragged into a lake by an alligator.
The child’s body was found on the following afternoon – not too far from where the alligator had initially pulled the child into the water.
According to Sheriff Jerry Demings: “The body was intact”.
Just reading that headline while scrolling down my Facebook feed gave me the shivers. As a mother of two, I can only imagine what this dear mother is going through right now and how difficult it must be for both parents especially since they tried their best to fight off the alligator – doing what any parent would do in that situation.
But the big question everyone is asking: Who is to blame for this accident?
Was it negligence on the parent’s side or is the resort to blame for not putting clear warning signs like: “Beware of Alligators” signs like the ones that their neighbours – The Hyatt hotel – have?
People are so quick to blame someone in a situation like this – especially on social media. Reading the comments on popular websites made me want to throw up.
It automatically becomes the parents fault but what IF it was your child?
That is the first thought that rushed into my head! Sometimes I turn around for a second and when I look back Kitana has disappeared thinking that everything we do is a game of catch me if you can.
We all know what holidays are like – It’s all about having fun, making the most of the place and of course being free! This family was relaxing on the sandy beach (mom was with the 4-year-old) and the father was near the 2-year-old who decided to dip his feet in the water and splash around when the attack occurred. There are signs along the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon that say ‘no swimming’ but nothing mentioning alligators in the water.
Being a mom of two kids, I know how easy it is to lose focus of one kid while you trying to focus on the other. Within minutes something bad can happen and all of a sudden you find yourself standing there in regret and disbelief.
Someone tweeted something on Twitter that stood out for me:
“People without kids blame the parents. People with kids weep with the parents and hold their own children tighter.” Collin Garbarino
This post is not about how I think Disney world is to blame for their poor signage or how I think this was child negligence because honestly, I wasn’t there so I can’t judge that exact moment by reading 3 different versions of the story.
This mom and dad already lost a lot and I’m sure they sitting and banging their heads on a wall thinking about what they could have done to be better parents, to save their son. The last thing they need is strangers attacking them for what has happened! My heart goes out to this family. A precious baby boy was taken away too soon. He most probably drowned to death and in that moment tried to scream out for his parents.
Instead of blaming them or Disney, we need to think about how we all can learn from this. Even in the “safest” kid friendly place something bad can happen.
Warning signs are there for a reason, don’t take chances.
Disney world has warning boards everywhere but the question still remains, is it clear enough for even a tourist to understand?
Are they supposed to be “babysitting” us at their parks and resorts or is it to be used at your own risk?
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom gets an average of 56,142 visitors per day (2015 stats) totalling 20,492,000 for the year and is the #1 most visited theme park in the world!
Can Disney really take the wild out of the wildlife?
There’re so many questions we can ask about this tragedy. But is it necessary right now?
The truth is parenting is difficult even in the best of circumstances.
I visited the park recently and to be honest I did not know that Florida is filled with alligators. It never occurred to me that something like this would happen in a such a safe place like Disney.
I’m sure half of the tourists visiting the park are just like me – clueless about what happens in the lakes. Everyone is there to meet the characters and enjoy the rides. People love making use of the vicinities that Disney has provided for them.
So who do we really blame?
Last night I found myself staring at my daughter while she was asleep and thinking about those special moments that we spent in Disney not so long ago.
Ever since I heard about this incident I’ve been disturbed. It’s so close to home! Just like this family, we were there too visiting the Magic Kingdom 2 weeks ago! I knew exactly where this incident took place because the surroundings are still so fresh in my memory.
It could have happened to anyone…
The child was not swimming… He was just doing what toddlers do! This was nothing but a tragic accident.
We live and we love. We are human. We want to find someone to blame. It is so easy to judge. Humanity can be lost. People can be cruel but from one mom to another… let us be there for each other. Let us help and not judge, love and not laugh. We share our pain and our sorrows. We feel for a mom and a dad who fought off an alligator. We feel for parents who went out of their way to allow their children to experience Disney. We feel for a family….
You can follow the story on social media – #Disneygatorattack.