Think back to your child’s first tentative steps- what did you do as they looked back at you? Did you clap and cheer as they looked your way?
Remember that first magical moment on the potty- did you break out the Potty Dance because you knew that was the best way to get a repeat performance?
Picture that first A+ test they proudly held up for your approval- but this time what if you didn’t bother to look?
What if you had no reaction the first time they rode a bike, scored a goal, sang at their school’s recital? What does that tell them?
Whether we like it or not our kids look to us for approval. Our reaction spurs their next action.
It has been a month since that horrific shooting in Parkland, but it feels different doesn’t it? Something is bubbling under the surface that we haven’t felt before. It wasn’t there when 20 kindergartners were gunned down in their school or when 58 innocent concert goers were picked off in a spray of bullets that rained from the sky, but it is here now. Finally. Now is the time.
Since that horrific day in February teenagers have organized mass nation-wide school walk outs, and held a CNN town hall meeting where they ran circles around a US Senator and the NRA spokesperson. They are meeting with elected leaders and speaking at Harvard. They have raised MILLIONS of dollars to support and fund their cause. In short, they have done what we have not- they have kept this shooting in the news. Everyday. Next up is a March on Washington D.C and in your community. They are calling it “March for Our Lives” because it is. They have had enough. Enough of thoughts and prayers. Enough of adults wiping away tears, but moving on the next day. Enough of just waiting for the next school shooting. Enough of lock down drills and planning their classroom escape routes. Enough of the hand-wringing adults who say “well nothing can be done”. They have had enough of OUR INACTION. ENOUGH. NOW is the time.
These kids have stepped up when no one else has. Now is the time to show them where WE stand. We must stand with them.
I get it. I really do. Marches and actually doing stuff like this is hard especially with all of the demands and logistics of parenting. I get it. In fact, I wrote a post about it here. At the bottom of this post I linked all the information you need along with ideas for signs and tips on bringing your kids. Marches feel like a show that lacks any power, so we feel they aren’t worth our time and the hassle. Let someone else go and march. There will be lots of other people, right? But this time is different. The show is exactly what is needed. This time we must be the “someone else.” We cannot rely on other people do the work that must be done. We are the parents and these are our children- what is more important? Thousands of kids are standing up for all children’s futures and we must all stand behind them. Now is the time.
This post isn’t really about gun control and what needs to be done about it because frankly this goes beyond gun control. This isn’t about just the guns anymore. This is about the next generation of voters standing up and passionately, respectfully, patriotically, demanding to be heard. Demanding a change that we as the adults in the room have been unable and unwilling to fight for. They are organizing and planning. They are speaking out with a maturity that goes so far beyond their young years. They are not backing down despite the unbelievably cruel and irresponsible responses they are facing. If you haven’t heard these kids speak I have linked clips below. Watch a couple and be in awe of them.
I am hesitant to call them kids because they have shown inspiring maturity and composure that I doubt most adults could muster. But they are kids. They were not even been born when the first school shooting in Colombine occurred. These kids have known no other world other than one where they practice hiding in bathrooms in case an active shooter interrupts storytime. They are still kids who are looking at the adults for approval, for our reaction. The fact is NOW is the time to show them, to prove to them that they are being heard and we will not let them down as we have so many other times and make no mistake we HAVE LET THEM DOWN. Any adult who heard about Columbine and did nothing. Any adult who cried over Sandy Hook, but did nothing. Any adult who offered thoughts and prayers shooting after shooting. Any adult who thought they did enough by voting in gun sense politicians and making phone calls, but then shrugged when nothing changed. Us. You. Me. We have an opportunity to own up to our mistakes, admit our inaction, and stand with these kids now. What will you do? Will you stand up? Now is the time.
There is a March for Our Lives in your community. You can find it here- Find your local March
If you have ever shed a tear over a shooting you have seen on tv- Now is the time to March.
If you have ever wondered why isn’t anyone doing anything- Now is the time to March.
If you have ever worried about your kid at school- Now is the time to March.
If you have ever complained about the next generation being entitled, lazy, and apathetic- Now is the time to March.
Now is the time to show up or forever shut up. It wasn’t my kid in those schools, but it could have been. It isn’t my kid organizing marches and setting the world on fire with her activism, but it could be. And the mean time, we will go as a family and proudly march behind these amazing students because now is the time. Not next month, not after the next shooting, NOW.
On March 24 thousands of kids will stand up for themselves and declare they have had enough. When they look around what will they see?
This is the moment we have been waiting for. As President Obama said, these are the kids we have been waiting for. We must not let them down by letting this moment pass.
Inspiring Student Speeches-
FIND YOUR MARCH! March For Our Lives Homepage