Sammy Nickalls
August 29, 2015 10:34 am
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This week, 27-year-old Cherish Peterson in Gilbert, Arizona took her four kids along with her on a trip to the grocery store. She ran in and out to grab some candy for a nephew’s birthday. . . and in the process, she made a mistake that will haunt her forever. She forgot her two-month-old baby in the shopping cart and drove away.

“I’m a good mom who made a horrible mistake,” she told KPHO in a tearful interview.

In the interview, a guilt-ridden Peterson tried to explain how the mistake happened. “I got into my car, and normally I put my cart away,” says Peterson. “But I didn’t need to because I parked at the front of the store and I never park there. And I drove away.”

Luckily, the baby was almost immediately noticed by an off-duty Phoenix police officer, who took him into a SuperCuts salon out of the heat. The baby was unharmed and is doing fine, according to KPHO. . . but Peterson, on the other hand? Not so much. Along with her crippling guilt, she’s been dealing with a social media storm in the form of criticism from people who are calling her a terrible mother and a drug addict.

“As I was pulling into the garage, my 3-year-old goes, where’s baby Huxton?'” Peterson told KPHO. “His car seat is right behind me. I turned around and realized it was gone. It was still a long time. It was still 40 minutes. It was not two hours. And I never took my other kids out of the car, so it wasn’t like I knew I left him. I thought the whole time he was in my car.”

Her husband, Nathan Peterson, recently rushed to her defense. “I married the best, in terms of the mother and wife Cherish is to me and our children,” he told KPHO. “A mistake was made, and we learned, but we’re not perfect. We’re not perfect. But we love our family and we love our children and we are grateful that everything is OK. . . It’s hard when you can’t shield your beloved wife and family from hateful and judgmental things.”

Recently, in light of the criticism on social media, people have been taking to Twitter using the hashtag #IStandWithCherish to support the mom, both in a legal sense and from public shaming. Everyone makes mistakes, supporters point out — and it could happen to anyone.

However, others don’t agree and have been using the hashtag to express opposing views — that this situation is indicative of Peterson’s inability to protect and mother her children. According to Peterson’s critics, forgetting your child is inexcusable no matter what the circumstances:

It’s easy to see both sides of the argument. Of course, no one is perfect, but at the same time, it’s understandable why some would still be hesitant to excuse Peterson’s mistake. It’s important to note, however, that this hashtag has started a real conversation about the issue, and highlights the wonderful way the Internet can allow for a wide scale debate about issues that people are passionate about.

To learn more about the situation, watch the entire KPHO interview with Cherish here.

(Image via Twitter.)