As a woman, I'm disappointed by the light sentence Brock Turner received following his rape conviction. I was moved to tears reading the victim's statement.
As a parent, I am horrified by the letter Brock Turner's father wrote to the judge on behalf of his son.
I pray that I can raise both my children to have the strength of character to make the right choice when impulse steers them in the wrong direction. I know that they will make mistakes in their lives -- poor judgement and the perceived invincibility of youth befall the best of us.
Truthfully, I want my children to make mistakes.
I pray that I will be the kind of parent that enables my children to admit when they are wrong, accept responsibility, apologize sincerely and endure the consequences of their actions. This must be one of the most difficult tasks that I'll be faced with as a mom -- all I want to do is protect my babies and the instinct to defend them is fiercely strong.
The fact that Brock Turner's parents stood by his side during his trial, that his father wrote a letter on his behalf, shows that there is unconditional love in that family. Can we not love while being tough and accepting the truth?
If someday I am faced with a terrible scenario like the Turner family I hope that I will be brave enough to say to my child "You were wrong. You must admit that you were wrong. I will not make excuses for you. I will always love you and I will hold your hand and I will help you be brave. But you must own up to what you did."
Wouldn't that be gut wrenching? It makes me sick to think about. But isn't that what we should do?
I want my 4 year old and my 2 year old to make mistakes now so that we can all practice accountability when the consequences are inconsequential.
Maybe if we practice these steps with the small things over the next several years we will never be tested by something major. But if we are tested we will be ready to do the right thing.