When my twins were 15 months old, I took them to their well-check and the pediatrician asked me “how’s it going?” and I started to cry. She hugged me; she’s a twin mom too. She gets it. It’s hard, I told her - everywhere I look, there is a twin putting himself in mortal danger. Dangerously close to whacking his head on just about everything; crawling toward a door that is about to close on his tiny fingers; putting who-knows-what in his mouth. I can’t keep up. She then gave me the best gift of parenting ever, the advice I have employed each and every day since: Just Put Them To Bed Alive.
I have incorporated this mantra into my life as a Mom. Cereal for dinner? Not a problem. Those pants a little too short? Good enough. Won’t try the roasted brussels sprouts? Oh well. C on the math test? Don’t worry about it. Just put them to bed alive. Live to fight another battle another day, but for today - I tried my best and I’m putting them to bed alive. We make thousands of tiny decisions over the course of our parenting journey that achieve this desired result. Decisions involving, to name just a few, helmets, vaccines, nutrition, shin guards, piercings, drivers ed, curfew, hydration, hygiene, child locks, outlet covers, seatbelts, slicing their grapes in quarters for years past when they had teeth, safely storing things that can hurt our kids like chemicals under the sink, tools in the garage, and firearms we may own.
Keeping our kids alive got a little easier this week when national retailers like Albertson’s (Acme), Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Wegman’s (in our area) and Kroger (not) have announced that store visitors may not “open carry” - an industry term that means visibly carry a firearm on their person. They are doing this for the safety of their customers and their employees, and they are doing this because groups like Moms Demand Action have asked again and again for this protection while going about the daily work of keeping their kids alive.
It’s important to recognize how critical the safe storage of firearms is, particularly in September which is suicide awareness month. Click here to learn more about the statistics of suicide and firearms.