As a child, there were friends I had that my mother liked and friends of mine she didn’t like. When I look back on those days she was really dead on about the quality of the people I chose to spend my time with but, while I did know she wasn’t big fans of some of them, she never told me I wasn’t allowed to play with certain friends.
That said, I can say with 100% certainty that if one of those friends was the child of a murderer I would have not been allowed anywhere near them.
Does that sound like an extreme and unlikely scenario? It’s not, as a community in Quebec had the unfortunate circumstance of discovering this week.
Châteauguay residents have learned that one of the most reviled and notorious murders in Canadian history is living among them, her children at school with their own. The second I say ‘her’ I am confident that anyone who hasn’t seen the news in the last few days knows exactly who I’m talking about.
Karla Homolka had a hand in the murder of her own sister and helped lure and kill two other school-aged girls back in the early 1990s. She is out of jail by the grace of a justice system that made a devil’s pact to get evidence to convict her then-husband Paul Bernardo. If you lived in Canada or even in the U.S. back when she was on trial, none of this is news to you.
What might be news, however, is that she has spent the last few years living in a quiet neighbourhood in Quebec in a community that had no idea the convicted murderer was a parent at the school.
Parents were outright horrified to hear that Homolka’s children were in their school, some realizing that their children were friends. The news has sparked conversations about whether or not we could stomach our own children being friends with hers.
I went back and forth on this for about 45 seconds. After all, her children are innocent and have done nothing in life to deserve being considered pariahs. Couldn’t I host them in my house and just not let my children go to their house?
No. No I couldn’t. I know, unequivocally, there is no way I could allow my children to be friends with the children of someone who committed the most heinous of crimes. And it’s not because I judge those kids. I don’t. But unfortunately for them they were born to an evil human being who I want my children nowhere near, ever. I don’t want her down the street from me let alone within arm’s length of my children.
A friend of mine pointed out that at five years old (I’m not sure how old her children are. But for the sake of argument, let’s say they’re really young), I could simply host the kids at my house and never have my children go to hers.
But who is dropping them off? Her? Or do I pick them up, at her house? Either option is simply not going to fly. Sorry. Reminder, we are not talking about someone busted for white collar or petty crime. She lured and killed young girls!
Even if there was a way to get away without ever having to be anywhere near her presence, many of us have friends from our childhoods who remain friends into young teenage years. Do I want Homolka’s kids to be the kids my children break the rules with, stay out late with, crash at their house against the rules with? Heck no. That isn’t a friendship I could keep quiet about.
Like my mother before me, I will let my children make their own choices with regards to friends and their own mistakes. But, no. I draw the line here. I would never put myself or my children in a scenario where they would have any contact with Karla Homolka. I feel badly for her children. I really do. But not enough to ever be okay with my children being friends with them.