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Families Belong Together

Posted by: Kate Published on: June 20, 2018

families belong together

You’re not supposed to get political with your business.

Here at Pip & Grow we prefer to take a positive approach to activism. We work with nonprofits across the country to help ensure that babies have a safe place to sleep. We don’t care if those babies are black, white, or brown. We don’t care if their parents are Republican, Democrat, or Independent. We only care that babies need beds. We have always checked our personal views at the door.

Right now there more than 2000 children, taken from their parents at the border, who need a safe place to sleep. And we care about them just as much as the babies who sleep in Smittens.

These children are being kept in conditions most of us wouldn’t accept for a family pet. And, without a doubt, these little kids are terrified. I’m a writer and I still can’t find the words to describe what happens to my heart when I think about those tiny bodies lying in fear, eyes searching for a familiar face. In my mind’s eye, they all look like my daughter or my son. And, in truth, they are – because there’s no such thing as “someone else’s kids.” I am crushed, no demolished, thinking about the parents who want nothing more than to lay their hands on their children. To know that they are safe. Fearing they are not.

I probably interacted with my children 100 times today. Everything from utilitarian encounters (like changing a diaper or holding a hand to get upstairs) to loving moments (like a big hug or a pre-bedtime cuddle). And I took every one of those moments for granted. I took for granted that my babies were always within arms’ reach. That I could simply glance in their direction and know that they were safe. To imagine what would happen if I couldn’t touch them, or couldn’t see them, is too hard on my heart. I lose my breath at the thought.

My soul aches more with each story, and so I avoid the articles. I stay off social media. I change the channel. I feel powerless. I wish I could hop in the world’s biggest station wagon, drive to every last detention center, and scoop up all the kiddos. I wish I could then find their parents and promise each mother that I would make sure her baby was ok until the lawyers get this sorted out. I wish I could give every child a safe place to sleep.

But there’s no station wagon big enough. I don’t even know where to drive.

I donate to RAICES. I call my representatives. But it doesn’t feel like enough. There are more children every day. More families being torn apart for the crime of wanting a better life for their kids.  

Sure, our immigration system is badly broken. Yes, we need to repair it. But, not by ransoming our most innocent. Never that. I want to knock those politicians’ heads together and say, “I don’t care who started it. Cut it out.” Just like I tell toddlers who are arguing.

And, so, I write this, Pip & Grow’s first political blog post. It is my moral obligation to say something and to say it through the loudest microphone available to me. It feels like so little in the face of such devastation and disgrace. But, perhaps, if we each take a step toward our best, most empathetic selves, we’ll all arrive somewhere better – together.

We must never forget that #familiesbelongtogether.

Want to help? Call your representatives.

Look, I hate making phone calls. I feel so awkward and cotton-mouthed. But, I hate what’s happening to these children even more. If you feel so inclined, please join me in overcoming phone fear. I’m calling my representatives today (202-224-3121).

This is what I’ll say, “Hello, my name is Kate Compton Barr. I live in [location]. I’m one of the [senator/congressperson’s] constituents. I’m calling to ask the [Senator/Congressperson] to stop family separation at our borders. I’m the mother of two young children, and cannot accept that this is who we are. I will be calling every day until you end this. Thank you.

Then I’m getting up and calling again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. Until this stops. And I certainly won’t be voting for anyone who doesn’t do all they can to end this Right. Now.