Monday, February 25, 2013
My Way Or The Highway
When J was around age two, I remember mom and RG, my stepdad, were going to host Thanksgiving dinner at her house. I had just had Baby L and was recovering from my c-section so mom wanted to make it as easy as possible for us. Basically, us Mosseys show up, look nice, eat the food, then make like a fetus and head out.
Nice work if you can get it.
The only problem was I was overcome with worry and fear.
See, J was walking and running and INTO EVERYTHING.
Each time, we would go over to mom and RG's house, I would systematically move the coffee table with the pointing corners to in front of the TV. Take everything off of the said coffee table. Move anything breakable from the corner table beside the couch. Put up the remotes. Close all the doors. Etc., etc., etc.
But this particular time I was so worried is because RG has a handgun. He keeps it in his nightstand.
At this point, J was not only walking, but running and opening drawers and pulling down anything he could reach and grabbing at anything that caught his eye. We hadn't been over there in a few months and they always seemed to come over here and visit. So it wasn't really a concern.
But, with the holidays fast approaching and knowing we were most likely headed over there, I was worried.
My stepdad is an honorable guy. He is an intelligent, hard working, loyal, honest man. He is also very stubborn and set in his ways. RG will even jokingly tell you he is a 'curmudgeon'. He has never had kids so he does not understand what it means to alter ones lifestyle for them.
Not to say he is an unloving guy. Far from it. He loves me and adores my kids. RG thinks of my husband as the son he never had.
RG just has certain things he likes and certain ways he likes them and he isn't going to change that for anyone.
So, I was so worried about the handgun. (Actually 'worried' is probably the understatement of the year.)
Leading up to Thanksgiving, I spoke to my husband at length about it many times, as well as my sister-in-law. We agreed we would not be going over there with the kids if the gun was not put up and locked away. I was sick to my stomach thinking about what could happen. Yes, I was probably very hormonal having just had a baby, but I know it was validated.
I don't like conflict. I thought he would be upset that I was asking him to change up his routine. And I don't like to hurt people's feelings. But if I have to choose between hurting someone's feelings or keeping my child safe, well, I'll hurt your feelings every time.
As a parent, if something makes us uncomfortable or upset, sometimes we don't have the luxury of opting out. We have to do what is right or what is necessary for the betterment or safety of our children. That's what being a parent is all about. You are the champion/protector/guardian/nurturer for your child.
Both my husband and sister-in-law helped calm me down. They assured me that he is a reasonable guy and he will be more than agreeable to it.
I am usually very flexible and easygoing, but this time, it was my way or the highway.
After a lengthy and emotional conversation with my mom, she agreed she would talk to RG about it. To reiterate how serious I was, I told her we would not be coming to Thanksgiving if that handgun was not put away somewhere and locked up. I told her I could talk to him, but seeing as that would be an emotionally charged situation, she quickly told me she would handle it.
Turns out, RG was agreeable to putting up the handgun in a safe place, high up, in a locked box. He actually thought of it before mom mentioned it to him.
This is not a post about gun control. This is not a post about whether or not you should have the right to have guns in your home. This is a post about safety. About protecting your kids.
If you have a gun and you have children or children who are in-and-out of your home, put your gun in a secure and locked location.
Because there's nothing more important than the safety of your children.