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Question from a first-time mom: How am I supposed to keep my child safe in this country?

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Hi there. I’m a first-time mom so enlighten me on something, if you don’t mind.

How in the world am I supposed to keep my child safe?

Today, it’s the news of two dozen people killed while in church yesterday, 12-14 of which were children. I took my daughter to church yesterday. She waved her arm mimicking the conductor as we sang songs. She palmed Cheerios into her mouth and raced to another pew to play when she spotted her friend. All the while we were apparently in a place that’s a shooting ground for someone else.

Last week, it was a terrorist attack miles from where we live. At the same time a man mowed down bike riders and slammed into a school bus, my daughter was only a short drive away learning about the letter “E” in art class as she colored in a drawing of an elephant.

Last month on the TODAY show, parents from New Jersey, just across the water from us, sat and recounted how their daughter committed suicide last spring after being bullied. She was 12.

Every morning, my family and I huddle together and do two things. First, we say three things we’re thankful for. One of mine is always that we’re safe because it seems like every day, that’s becoming more and more of a gift and less of something we’re entitled to. Then we say a prayer, and when I say it, I always plead that we’ll make it home safely that night — because that also seems like it’s more of a gift and less of something we should expect.

So now I’m just genuinely wondering — searching — for ways to get my child to adulthood and beyond safely, because I’m terrified that one day we’re going to be the ones in the news.

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