We have heard the stories all too often! Horror stories of babies and toddlers harmed by those entrusted to them by their parents, innocent souls who suffered punishments meant for their parents but meted out on them since they were the defenseless targets. All of us have a story or two to share, experienced by one-self or by a relative or friend.

My worst experience was a girl who left my then 3 year old toddler alone napping with githeri boiling for the evening meal on the stove…Luckily; she left the doors open and the keys hanging on the gate. Our neighbour, then a house-wife, noticed something was amiss and came to check only to find our baby asleep, the doors wide open and the girl disappeared. She didn’t steal anything nor harm anyone directly but I always shudder when I imagine what could have happened to our baby that day. What if the food had burnt and caused a fire? What if our toddler had woken up and injured herself in the house? What if? What if? Again, we all thanked God for watching over our baby anf keeping us all out of harm’s way. Needless to say that once I arrived home, I discarded all the food that was open including the githeri that was left boiling. On reporting the matter to the authorities, I was told to consider myself lucky that nothing more serious had happened to my family!

I was indeed grateful after the realization that something worse could have happened! This got me thinking and doing quite a bit of soul searching. Where and how had I wronged her for her to abandon my baby in that manner? Why didn’t she simply say if she was that unhappy in my house and we would have parted ways amicably? Did someone incite her to abandon her job may be with (false) promises of better pay? Had she found a husband that she had decided to elope with? Why did she wait for my baby to come back from school only to leave her alone when she was taking her nap? She could have left as soon as my child had been picked by the school bus in the morning. She had been brought to me by a colleague who didn’t even know her whereabouts and was shocked (or behaved as if she was shocked) beyond words to hear about what had transpired. Well, whatever the explanation and the cause of her decision, I can’t help but believe that there is a guardian angel who watches over all children. It is the only way I could explain how my baby was miraculously kept out of harm’s way on that day.

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