Tag Archives: Parenting

Clara Harris – How dare you leave me?

In 2003 Clara Harris was convicted of the murder of her husband David Harris.  That she killed him was never disputed because it was caught on camera.  Clara, either in a fit of rage, or accidentally, ran her husband over in a hotel parking lot where he had met with his mistress, Gail Bridges.

Clara was born in Bogotá and worked hard to fulfil her dream of working in the United States.  A dentist, she met David Harris, an orthodontist and together they ran half a dozen successful dental offices.

Everybody in their workplace was aware of David’s affair with the office assistant, Gail, who had earlier, during her own divorce proceedings, been implicated in an affair with a woman called Julie Knight.

The jury took into account ‘sudden passion’ before sentencing Clara to twenty years in prison.

Clara Harris was a woman who worked hard at success, in life and in marriage.  The news of David’s affair came as a devastating blow to her and she became intensely insecure.  She went so far as to ask David to make a list of comparisons between her and Gail which she set out to correct immediately.  Such as losing weight, colouring her hair and making an appointment with a plastic surgeon.

On the night of the murder, David had told her that he was meeting with Gail at the hotel to put an end to the affair.  When he did not return home, Clara and Lindsey (David’s daughter) went to the hotel to look for him.  Now I can imagine what state she was in.  How her stomach turned in fear of what she would find.  And what she did find was David and Gail walking in the hotel lobby, hand in hand.  They had spent two hours together in a hotel room.

A scene followed in the hotel lobby with Clara apparently attacking Gail.  David then took Gail to the car park and Clara and Lindsey got into her Mercedes.  At some point, as she spotted David and Gail, Clara put her foot down and tried to run them over.  She says all of that time is a blur to her.  Gail was injured slightly but David was seriously hurt.  Onlookers say that Clara then ran over David again and again.  He died shortly after.

Now I don’t condone what she did, murder is not a solution to any problem.  But I can put myself in Clara’s shoes.  Firstly, she was completely unaware of her husband’s affair although everyone around her knew.  Secondly, when she found out, she did everything in her power to get him back, including more sex.

David’s behaviour is not really shocking, I suppose many men do the same.  But to compare her physical attributes to Gail’s is a bit low.

I will not dwell on Gail Bridges.  Suffice it to say that I cannot have sympathy for any woman who puts herself in a position where she could break up a family and destroy children’s lives.

Clara is not a character that invokes sympathy, but I think thousands of women could empathise with her.  The woman scorned.  Not out for revenge, but suddenly confronted with the fact that her husband does not want her anymore.  Lies, sex and rejection.  And a sudden fit of passion in more than one sense of the word that ended in the death of one, and the misery of more.


Stepmothers

Why do some women feel threatened by their stepchildren?  Especially their stepdaughters?

I know of one woman who has forbidden her husband from seeing his daughter because she doesn’t like her.  It is a lovely girl with good manners but she dared to stand up to the stepmother once.  This child suffers from depression and has tried to commit suicide once already.

If Dad wants to see her, he has to meet with her outside of his own house.  He is not allowed to help her with money, buy a car or any of the things parents usually do for their children once they come of age.  But, he has to pay everything for stepmom’s child, including handing over a car and allowing her to live in his house.

Recently the Gran went to visit and dinner at a restaurant was organized.  Stepmom had to attend but spat on the sentiment by sitting at another table.

I can put up with a lot but these shoes are hard to imagine on my feet.

I believe it is harder for a woman to accept another woman’s child, than it is for a man to accept another man’s child.  I get all of that.  But how could anyone be so mean, callous, cold-hearted, malicious and wicked?  No wonder there is not one good stepmother in fairy tales.  In days where so many women died during childbirth, stepmothers were a dime-a-dozen.  Those authors knew what they were talking about.

Which brings me to the next point.  Why is dad allowing this?  Because he is too scared to stand up to his wife, at the cost of his child.  Because it is easier to do what his wife says than to put up with her continuous moaning and bitching.  Tis true.  And too many men who fall for this one.

Wrong move Dad.  You would only have to put your foot down for so long before mom gets the message.  Or you could take away the credit card.  You are after all the head of the home, why don’t you start flexing your muscles a bit?  Yes it will be hard and yes it might take a while, but it will be worth it.  And you know what?  Once you have made the decision to swallow your fear, the battle is half-won.  Nothing worthwhile comes easy but leaving it as not to disturb the peace is cowardly.  You will regret it when you are old or sick and your children don’t visit (out of habit or because they think they hate you).

And stepmom, you are messing with the life of a child.  You could be ruining a perfectly good human being.  Take a chill-pill and step aside.  Perhaps that is what the STEP stood for all along.

PS:  I know that not all stepmothers are bad.


I help my kids with their homework

I would write their essays, speeches and poems.  And cover their books.  Because they are boys and I enjoy it and because I don’t really believe it makes much of a difference.  Neither of them are planning on becoming academics, nor will they major in English.

It irritates their girlfriends, and my friends with daughters always shake their heads.  But my friends with boys just smile.  Moms with daughters are less likely to help out with homework because I suppose but daughters are encouraged to just get on with it, while boys are molly coddled by the women, forever and ever, amen.

My kids have full, active lives filled with sport and overwhelming amounts of homework.  Besides, I realised early on that teachers either realise that the child did not write the essay, but choose to say nothing, or they don’t realise at all.  And after fourteen years, I am leaning towards the latter.  Which borders on the criminally inattentive to my mind.

My eldest took art up to his final year.  Because of the sheer workload in grades 9 – 10, I aided and abetted throughout.  He did the practical work and I did the theoretical, both which were vast.  I would sit with him to hammer out concepts, then write the stories to suit.  Or I would spend time in the garage while he was fabricating, make notes of every single little detail before writing the rationale, relation factors, essays and everything else that went with it.  We generally got good marks.  I always ask for my marks.

I read to them from when they were born until they became too grown-up for it.  Yet, neither of them read.  It used to sadden me but I have since realised it is not the end of the world.  But unfortunately it affects their comprehension as well as reading speed.

I am more interested in well-rounded children who participate in sport, do their homework and have active social lives, than I am in distinctions.  I try not to add to the already pressurised lives they live by pushing too hard for A’s.

I think, generally, that Dads push sons and Moms push daughters.  And both are okay.