the south tag

Mothers Versus Mother Nature


A couple of days ago I fell upon an article in the USA Today that was detailing the destruction caused by the unseasonably cold weather in the southern part of the country  (don’t be alarmed, this is not a weather rant).  Apparently, the plummeting temperatures has more of an effect than making Floridians dust off their winter jackets.  The article exemplifies some of the less obvious consequences of such an anomaly: large scale losses of tropical fish, the closing of zoos that stay open year round, etc.

Then, toward the end of the article, it is mentioned that two teens outside of Atlanta died as a result of this weather system.  What may have caused such a tragedy?  Perhaps their car broke down, they were stranded in the middle of a rural area, and eventually fell victim to hypothermia.  Or their car hit a patch of ice, they slid into the wetlands and promptly became hors d’oeuvres for a congregation of alligators.  In fact, neither of these scenarios were the cause of death.  Instead, as a result of recreation, these two teenage boys fell through a semi-frozen pond.

I don’t want to seem more cold hearted than I am in reality (68°F), but this is not an act of mother nature.  This is an act of neglect on behalf of their mothers.  In the Midwest, people die from similar events on a fairly regular basis.  No one makes this an issue of bizarre external factors.  People don’t blame Climate Change or write nasty letters to chemists, dealing a diatribe for the properties H2O.  Sure, ponds might not freeze as often in Georgia as they do in Minnesota, but when you put an ice tray in the freezer for 15 minutes, the result is partially frozen ice.  This is fairly universal.  When you pull out said ice tray, and a light bulb goes off saying, “if only there was more of this, I’d sure like to stand on it,” well, Darwin can explain the rest.

The older of the two kids was 15 years old.  True, this is young, but also old enough to be less than a year away from legally driving a two ton automobile at speeds heavily influenced by the NASCAR culture.  Still,  Mom and Dad have to take the heat (no pun intended) for this one.  Maybe these kids didn’t learn their “frozen pond lesson” from the The Good Son like the rest of us, but even if they had watched Macaulay Culkin chuck a child into the water of a semi-frozen pond, they’re just kids.  It’s their job to be curious.  It’s mom’s responsibility to say, “don’t play on that because you’ll die.”

Again, this doesn’t lessen the loss being experienced by those who knew and loved these kids.  Kids are kids, they didn’t deserve this fate.  The point is don’t tack this loss up to mother nature.  This one falls squarely on the shoulders of mom.