I’ve received a lot of aggressive reader mail via Facebook regarding my colleague, Shawn Bean’s, blog, A Letter to Caylee. Surprisingly, many of you were insulted by it. As a single mom, raising a little boy, with no physical participation from his dad, I know I’m probably supposed to feel the same way about Bean’s blog—especially since he cited a study conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative that stated, father absence is connected to higher rates of physical and emotional neglect, teen pregnancy and incarceration. Bean went on to say, “a missing dad isn’t only bad for Caylee, but for all of us.” I feel painted into a corner, here. I don’t associate myself, my child, his absent dad, with any of the above. Those are all worst case scenarios. Absent dads can equal a lot of things: The father died in the 9-11 attacks. The mother is a choice mom and went to a sperm bank. Two moms are raising a child. Or, like me, the father left when mom was 11-weeks-pregnant and started a new life in another state. But, let’s play Devil’s advocate.
Say there was a participating bio-father in Caylee’s life, regardless if Casey and this guy were together—he might have been able to save this baby’s life, or even raise immediate questions about her whereabouts (not 31 days later). Before everyone jumps all over me for suggesting single moms (or dads) aren’t capable of raising children, please understand, I don’t classify myself, or any of my single mom readers with Casey Anthony. I don’t even classify her as a mother. She is in a class all her own. But if the bio-father, who is still a huge mystery, were in fact around, Casey may have been able to utilize the legal visitation, as a means to go out, party and not feel so overwhelmed and tied down. But to that note, having a child is about sacrifice. I can’t remember the last time I partied. I drank one Corona last Friday with my single mom friend, Mareesa, and then we took our boys out for steak and ice cream (and picked up their toy cars from under the table 47 times)—that was date night.
Bean wrote: “Maybe if your dad was there, he’d have been playing Chutes and Ladders with you on the nights Mom went out. He’d have called the police once you were missing for more than a couple hours. He'd have known the babysitter tale was a ruse. In short, he could have changed everything.” And this is beautiful writing and sentiment.
So, OK, if the bio-dad was paying child support and had visitation, or shared custody, this would be another person vested in Caylee’s life, someone who had a legal right to see his daughter. Cindy and George were, fine, obviously a huge part of Caylee’s life, but they were not custodial or non-custodial guardians. For 31 days, they likely considered Casey’s discard to their requests to see Caylee as, typical Casey behavior, and maybe they let her be and believed her lies, because Casey was the MOM and based on what witnesses said under oath, she wasn’t exactly a bad mom—no one testified they ever saw Casey hit Caylee or that the child was hungry, not clothed...But, to that note, I can’t imagine my parents not seeing JD for 31 days. I mean, just the other day, my Dad showed up to our pool, completely unannounced with a Matchbox car for JD—and homemade meatballs. He opened the gate and said, “Hi guys!” The dysfunction in the Anthony home is real. This too contributed to Caylee's death.
To assume Caylee would still be dead, missing for 31 days, if her bio-father were around is something similar to what the jurors had to do when they found Casey not guilty. It’s beyond a reasonable doubt. To assume Andrea Yates drowned her 5 children in a bathtub, because her husband, the father of her 5 kids, Rudy Yates WAS around, a dedicated husband and father was well, you fill in the blank. Why did this father KILL his kids? (His children went to school in the same town, JD does.)
The answers here range from being selfish. Being crazy. Suffering from Postpartum depression. But really have nothing to do with an absent dad. But I love and support Bean's blog -- it came from a good father's heart. Read it like that, guys. That's how I did. And something you may not know -- Shawn lives in Florida. It's very real to him. It's real to all of us -- but it's in his air.
Rest in peace, sweet Caylee. And know that this mom blogger and author of the mom memoir, Rattled! will be boycotting your mother’s inevitable million dollar book deal and leading a social media campaign that everyone else does too. Any ghost writer that takes this on, should know they are profiting from Caylee's murder. BOYCOTT THE BOOK.
What are your thoughts on Bean’s blog? Could Caylee’s bio-father have saved her life?