I was going to write a post about not having resolutions, then I was going to write a post on finding resolve in something. Then I read an article in one of the local papers. It was written by someone I worked with at the paper before I had kids. We would bump into each other in the basement gym that was open to all employees but used by few. We didn’t talk a lot, but I knew he had kids and seemed kind. He always felt familiar to me, reminding me of some sort of combination of many people I knew from my Eugene days—more laid back than most, open-minded, but with very strong opinions, smart. His articles are rarely without controversy, but very, very often I agree with his perspective. I’ve written him letters before to privately thank him for raising an issue.
This article was no different. It really made me think, it also made me uncomfortable, afraid to speak and afraid not to. The article, if you haven’t already clicked the link, was about guns, specifically guns in homes that children might be able to access. He wrote it because a child did find it. Another child was with him and now one of those two children is dead. The comments on the article bring up plenty of waves of “How dare you!” I am not writing today about the right to bare arms or about whether the author is liberal, out of line or off base.
I am writing because I have to work this out sooner rather than later. I was ready to teach our girls about the danger of guns, just like I’ve taught them that they are in control of their own bodies. Eating disorders are an enemy on my radar as are mean girls, apathy and trans fats. So seriously, from the monumental to the maybe mundane, I’ve been ready. I am not ready to think about guns in homes. I barely manage playdates for the requirement they carry of talking to strangers, that awkward exchange between people who have nothing in common but kids. I’ve finally accepted I don’t have to be friends with them, just need to facilitate play time, but guns? I have to ask parents if they have guns in their home? I should probably ask about pills too. The list is infinite.
I am not ready for this.
I have no choice. I cannot keep my three girls safe from everything, but I can be aware of the steps I can take to keep them a little bit safer. When I muster the courage to ask will parents be honest? I have no idea, but if they aren’t, will it at least get them to go and make sure that guns are locked up tight with no ammunition nearby? That pills are out of reach? Maybe. Am I still terrified? Yes.
I guess that’s what it’s all about though. We need to keep a measure of fear and we always need to be thinking, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.