I started baking the Christmas cookies this weekend. I always start with the springerle, because they’re supposed to sit for a week before you eat them. I make 10 kinds of cookies in all. Yeah, it’s a lot of trouble. And every year, I swear I’ll cut back. But the kids—well, my Marcy loves the Swedish heirlooms, and Jake always wants the filled butter rings, and their cousin Casey swears by the date-nut pinwheels, and little Helena would be so disappointed if there weren’t any dinosaur cutouts, and … What can I say? I’m a sucker. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the kids.
I did a little Christmas shopping, too. Thank God mine are past that stand-in-line-overnight-at-Walmart-to-get-Tickle-Me-Elmo stage (and so is Elmo, for that matter). Still, I go to a lot of time and trouble to make sure I find things they’ll like. I also did some wrapping. The paper I bought was pretty expensive, but the packages are going to look so pretty under the tree. Like I say, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the kids.
Yesterday morning I played pickleball at the YMCA. I got there early, but not as early as the young parents who had their tiny babies in swim class. I went through that when mine were babies, too. You want them to be safe, you know? To waterproof them. It took a lot of years of dragging them back and forth to the Y, but now both kids can swim like fish. It was definitely worth it. You have to protect them, right? What wouldn’t we do for our kids?
You know who really loves kids? Our legislators. It’s no surprise; most of them are parents. Come the New Year, they’ll be back to work in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., making laws and setting regulations about crib rails, and TV advertising of sugary cereals, and video games, and child molesters, and online privacy, and texting-while-driving, and imports from China, and whatever is the latest iteration of lawn darts. They’ll supervise school lunches down to the last gram of fat and carbohydrate; they’ll legislate how high and wide and deep child-safety seats for cars have to be. They’ll do everything in their power to keep our children safe and healthy, except for that one thing, that same thing we’re too busy wrapping gifts and baking cookies and cleaning house to demand that they do, now, once and for all:
Get rid of the goddamn guns.