Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Krim tragedy: No judging please, just love and prayers

The murder of two little kids, 6-year-old Lucia Krim and 2-year-old Leo Krim, by their nanny is every parent's nightmare. It's been haunting me all weekend. The New York Times story on it is heartbreaking. The mom, Marina, is a blogger, too, and she describes the bliss of caring for her three beautiful kids. The blog was also used by NYT as a source of quotes, one of which was a sweet ode to little Leo, just a month younger than my own Vito.

When I read the part where neighbors saw Marina with "a towel over her head, clinging to her one surviving child, being escorted by police to a waiting ambulance..." and that earlier "'She was screaming... She was not lucid,'" I cried. I think I would go insane if I ever... I can't even say it. But I knew she clung to her surviving child, not only because she had only one child left; she clung to her because if she didn't, she would lose her mind.

Unlike Marina, I'm a working mom. I hire yayas to help with the care of Vito and Iñigo. And you all know I've had my horror story early this year with Vito's Yaya Grace, a horror story that pales in comparison to what the Krims are going through. After Grace, I've been very careful with the hiring process but I still have fears so here's what I've done:

1. I hired two yayas. In truth, we don't need two yayas. Vince works from home. I work across the street and I shuttle back and forth every couple of hours. But I like to have a lot of people caring for my kids. Because caring for kids is not a joke. It is tough. It is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. There should always be a reliever, in case someone loses their patience.

2. Even I don't like to be left alone with my kids. For one thing, I'm sickly and clumsy. What if I trip and hit my head and die? What if I get a bad asthma attack? Same goes for my yayas. I always want at least two adults with the kids at all times.

3. I am very kind to my help. And I ask Vito to be kind to them and I ask them to be patient with my children. Even then, whenever Vince and I are home—which is often—we take over the childcare and just ask the yayas to clean the house, nap, go shopping.

It is my hope that all of the above will protect my kids from harm. But the Krims were good to their nanny, too. Marina gave up her career so she can be a stay-at-home mom and care for her kids herself. She only hired the nanny when Leo, her youngest, was born. And even though she had the nanny, she was still hands-on, always with the kids. Except for that one tragic afternoon when she left Lucia and Leo with the nanny to attend to her third child, 3-year-old Nessie.

While this tragedy has stunned everyone, some parents have used this to further their agenda.

There's a lot of that on the comment sections of every story on this tragedy. That one above is from People. Marina (or someone in her family) shut down her blog because it was getting lots of hate in the comments, blaming her for leaving her kids to a nanny.

Shame on every person who self-righteously turns up their noses and says, "That's why I gave up my career because I can never think of leaving my kids with a stranger!" I heard that all the time when I told people about Yaya Grace. Really. Thanks so much for the judgment. You really all helped a lot.

Well, guess what, statistics show that more children are abused and killed by their own parents and relatives than by nannies and strangers. Let me say that again: Statistics show that parents are more dangerous to their own kids than strangers. So to all the people out there who think career women are bad mothers, just stop. Marina Krim is a stay-at-home mom, a housewife. She loves her children, she gave up everything for them, and this still happened.

We don't need to understand what happened. We don't have to use this tragedy to assure ourselves that we made the right choices or to make others feel guilty about theirs. We can do all we can to protect our kids and things like this will still happen.

I'm trying not to let the Krim child murders make me suspicious of my own yayas. That's not the correct response. I did discuss it with them. I asked them to always be open and honest with us, to ask for help if they need it, to knock on our neighbors' doors if they feel overwhelmed and we're not home to relieve them. And then there's really nothing left to do but to pray ever so hard for our kids' safety and protection. Let me share again with you my prayer of protection:
Dear Father in heaven, I know You love my children more than I ever could. And so I know You will grant this prayer. Please keep Vito and Iñigo safe from harm. Protect them from accidents. Protect them from themselves, from others who may harm them, protect them even from us, their parents, if we should be impatient and angry. Keep their bodies strong so that no sickness will afflict them. Cover them in the blood of Your Son, Jesus, so that they will be invisible to evil. Let Your angels watch over them. And may they always feel Your presence and goodness so that even when Vince and I are not around, they will feel safe and hidden away. Amen.
God, please keep our families safe! And comfort the hearts of Marina and Kevin and their little Nessie. I don't know how anyone could ever recover from this horrific loss but may they feel the love, kindness and support of the world who grieves with them.

Nov 9: Update on children's memorial plus nanny's motive here.

*photo of Krim children from The Telegraph UK.


  1. Sigh! I cannot even begin to think how they are going about their lives after this. I read about this news the other day in between sobs. Reminded me of the thoughts that I had to console myself back when I didn't have Jed yet --- The world is way too bad to introduce an innocent child in it. Ang bigat bigat sa pusong isipin nito. :'(

    You're right. Passing judgments won't do any good. I have been praying for God's grace to shower upon this family. Nothing else will comfort them. :(

    1. That is how I feel: My heart is so heavy =(

  2. I read this a few days ago, too, Frances. Thank you for blogging about it. You described perfectly what I felt about the whole thing. Last night naman, I was reading news reports about kids/teens who had committed suicide due to bullying, supposedly because they did some pretty bad stuff. I feel the same way about these stories - na who are people to judge these teens (and many people did/do, even AFTER they had committed suicide!) for their past and say they deserved to be bullied, to die even! Similarly (well, sort of), no one has the right to say that Marina should have known better, etc. etc.

    Hay. My heart is heavy too. Let us keep praying for the Krims and all who have been involved in tragedies.

    1. Haaay, Tina. This is one of the reasons I didn't want to be a mom. As Jennie commented above, the world is so evil and I felt it was irresponsible to bring innocent life into such a sorrowful world. =(

  3. OMG. I too can't even begin to imagine how ballistic I'd get if that were to happen to my Raviv. Just last week, I learned that one of my son's nannies hit him on the mouth just because my barely two-year old shouted. And my pain-tolerant boy(he doesn't cry when he gets his shots)cried because of that. Just the thought made me well up, and it was a good thing I fired that nanny; otherwise, I might have done something terrible.

    1. Grabe yun ha. Bakit kailangan i-hit yung mouth?! Ako, sinampal ako ng parents ko nung nagmura ako sa kanila. That was well deserved and I am glad they slapped some sense into me. But a 2-year-old??? Toddlers are so excited and noisy and kulit! I get worried if my Vito's NOT noisy!

  4. I really don't know how to react, I feel so sad about this tragedy and I couldn't even imagine this in my own family. I'm kinda speechless, it was really heartbreaking but I know God has a purpose and plan for this family. May the Lord God show them the light in this time of darkness.

    And let's pray for the Krim's family and for the soul of the two innocent children.

  5. Great blog, Frances! People ought to be more sensitive when giving their opinions. I was a working mom and I struggled with caring for my baby. Then I gave up my career and I'm now a full-time mom with a yaya but guess what, I'm still struggling! There's no one equation for being a good mom. I don't know why some moms have to compete with others. We are all moms who all want what's best for our kids. We should be supporting and not judging each other. Sigh!


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