I will not forget the eyes of our staff member Rory Graves as we announced that ParentMap had chosen to focus on an issue that is both important and currently critical: The intersection of guns, violence and families.
Upon hearing this, our ethereally beautiful social media queen and mother of three little ones was visibly shaken. Her throat constricted and her eyes welled up as she courageously revealed her excruciating story. On the outside, Rory’s family looked normal. Many of us make assumptions about educated, upper-class white families. Inside, Rory, her brother and mother lived a life of abuse and terror.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 1.3 million women in the U.S. are victims of a physical assault by a partner each year. When guns are part of the equation, the risk of homicide skyrockets to more than five times higher than in instances where there are no weapons.”
A priceless gift that children should receive daily is to awaken in a home filled with love, tenderness and joy. When police entered Rory’s mother’s home, they seized 24 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammo.
Enthusiastic as we are to share the joy of the holidays with family and friends, I urge you to cozy up with Rory’s painful personal story and reflect on what she has daringly shared with us. During the coming year we commit to delivering stories like hers, and like Weapons Ban: Just How Bad Are Toy Guns for Kids?, which help educate and foster gun responsibility and safety-enhancing legislation.
Thank you Teddy McGlynn-Wright for bringing a strong father voice and perspective in Redefining Fatherhood. The opposition of “fatherliness and manliness” in our society is powerfully presented by McGlynn-Wright. He has us uncomfortably immersed in his world where fathers of color are blamed for societal ills and sadly the image of fatherhood in general is one of being disengaged. McGlynn-Wright’s baby daughter, Charlie, has a great gift that will exist far beyond the spark of the festive holidays — an inspiring Daddy, day in and day out!
Our family’s staycation will be Jingle shows, from Oliver! to It’s a Wonderful Life and the annual passing Christmas ships. Creativity-boosted you will be with the highly imaginative and inspired (but barely pronounceable!) 15 Gift Ideas for All Ages! Yikerz!, Q-BA-Maze and Sumoku — oh my!
Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season.