Healthy Legacy: Healthy people, a clean environment, a thriving economy.

02/23/2012

Valentines, the state capitol and a "parenting challenge"

By Martha Moriarty, LDA Minnesota

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Trying to explain to my 4-year-old what we were doing at the State Capitol on Valentine’s Day was a “parenting challenge.”  Firstly, trying to describe who and what state lawmakers are and why we lobby them probably flew right over his little head (he’s a smart kid, but do most adults get these concepts?).  And secondly, explaining why there are harmful chemicals in the stuff we buy at stores blew his mind.  “What?! How could that be?” was what his response would have been if he had found the words to match his incredulous expression.

As we walked into the Capitol building and appreciated the beauty of its vastness and decorative halls, my little guy acted just as any 4-year old would, he liked to hear his echo in the halls and run as fast as he could through the wide, open spaces.  I, on the other hand, worried about the meeting with my legislator and making sure I was prepared to speak on the issues.

As a staff person at LDA Minnesota, I am concerned about the effects of toxins on all of our citizens, particularly the chemicals that affect brain development and can lead to learning disabilities and learning challenges.  But closer to home, as a parent I worry about my child and his health.  Will the formaldehyde in the shampoo I used on his head when he was a baby affect his health later in life?  Am I purchasing a product that has toxins I am unaware of, that could affect his brain development?  As any parent will tell you, I just want my child to grow up to be healthy and happy. 

He certainly was happy during our Healthy Legacy Day at the Capitol.  He sang his “planets” song for the media camera, wished our legislator “Happy Valentine’s Day,” and proudly passed out his Valentine’s to our lawmakers.  He calmed my nerves when it was time to talk to our Representative by squeezing my hand extra tight upon our meeting.  We had a fun day of lobbying and he asked me as we were leaving if we could come back and play again soon.

Catch a glimpse of Martha and her son in this cute video from our day at the capitol:

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Adorable! Thanks, Keenan, for helping to send a complicated message through LDA to our legislators about the important connection between our environment and our brains (From the mouth of babes!).

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