Media & being a parent


Many of my loyal readers (sorry again I haven’t been a loyal writer to you) know that I work in the media, I’m a news photographer for a local TV station in Kansas City.  I’ve talked about how difficult it is for parents to cover the news before.  Well just recently over the last week you can just say, Good Luck, to handling your emotions if you are a parent working in the media in Kansas City!It started as a normal work week.  Waking up early on a Saturday morning to make it in.  Typically, on the weekends we get to do fun stories, very little breaking news.  Well on Saturday we get rushed out the door on a fire.  We get there and it was not your typical fire.  The fire chief told us that a kid died in the fire while his mom rushed into save him.   Well great way to start the week off right? It couldn’t get any worse right? Wrong!Sunday comes, another fire and another child died in the fire.  This time the child did not even live in the home, she was just staying over at a friends house.  While I always feel for a family who has just lost a child, I felt even more for the family where the child was just staying over at their house for the night.   The whole time I am covering this story I keep on thinking, your child is not safe anywhere anymore.  While this might have been a freak thing, still makes you cautious! You could tell the media relations for the fire department in this case, was having a difficult time talking about this one.  Who wouldn’t right?  Needless to say, after this story I take advantage of anytime I get to spend with the kid (the chipmunks new name).  Things couldn’t get any worse right? Nothing like covering stories where a kid is either died or lost right to make for a great week.  Well it does get worse.

By now, you’ve heard about 10 month old Lisa Irwin, her parents have been interviewed on all of the national morning shows.  If not, it is to bad that you don’t watch the news.  Tuesday came, my Friday, an Amber Alert is out for Lisa who was taken from her home in the middle of the night.  I won’t give the whole story on here just my thoughts on the whole ordeal.  While I still have my own questions, where is the baby monitor? What happened to the family dog? It is a small house, so why didn’t the 3 other people in the house hear something?

But think about it, a 10 month old, the same age as my son, was just taken from a home! HOLY CRAP! The whole time I was covering this story Tuesday night, I’m thinking to myself, “This could happen to us!” I know how difficult it is to take care of a baby, I know all the stuff they need.  Just today, i was thinking myself, that I sure hope this baby is getting fed and getting diaper changes! The things that a baby needs more then anything!  As a parent, I would be all over the media asking, pleading the area, the nation to help find my baby and to bring them back home.  The parents of Lisa either didn’t want to talk or were told by police to not talk to the media, which is a mistake in my book, and no not just because I work for a TV station.  If they talked to the media quickly, they wouldn’t look so suspicious in the situation.

I will say that after a “TODAY Show”, interview I will say that all of my suspicions of the parents are gone.  There are things that they had shown that you can’t fake, you can’t fake the tears she was showing, the red nose like you’ve been up all night crying.  Those are things you can’t fake.
I’ve held the kid just a little bit tighter this week, again not taking any moment with him for granted because as is evident with this past week, he could be gone in an instant.

If you have any tips that could lead to Lisa Irwin please call the Kansas City TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-8477.

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on October 7, 2011, in Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. it hurts my heart when I hear things like that. I have some friends who have experienced great loss like that and my heart aches for them- it makes me appreciate my children that much more and how lucky I am. Thanks for the reminder to hold them a little closer…

  2. Once you’re a parent, horrible stories like this are just crushing and makes you want to hug your kids and keep the closer all the more. A friend of a close friend of mine lost her two young daughters in a fire earlier this year and the depths of her pain–I can’t even begin to imagine.

  3. Its stories like these that hurt my heart… I question life and death why would this happen. My heart goes out to the families. We have been praying for little Lisa.. how tragic.

    • I’ve still been covering this story, and it is getting easier to deal with now that more details are coming out. She might have been drunk the night of the disappearance! Seriously, this mom should have never been allowed to have children. I was thinking about this when I heard she was drunk and since the kid has come into our lives, I can not remember the last time I drank enough to get drunk.

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