I’ve grown up a little jaded. Vegas billboards leave little to the imagination, even when what they’re selling isn’t even sex. Except, I guess it’s semantics because they are using sex to sell something, but when you’re numb to it, you don’t notice until it’s gone.
When we moved to Reno we sighed in relief when we realized they hold different standards to billboards where kids and adults alike are concerned. That was until I drove around the corner from our new house.
To be fair we live on the fringe of midtown Reno. It’s close to city living and the life that comes from being downtown. I get it. But recently I’ve started taking a quicker route to the freeway, and I realized that brings me right by our neighborhood strip club. When I am on my own, I remain normal. When my children are in the car my behavior changes – as it should.
My job title is Mom. Part of my job description is raising kids who guard their eyes and hearts from temptations that pollute them. I am a protector as we navigate what sometimes feels like crazy wild animal raising. I am all in. So, driving by the sign playing a digital video loop of stripping without using it to teach my kids something feels like a total waste.
So, Neighborhood Strip Club, thank you for making me a better, more on-purpose mom when we are driving about town. Thank you for that one time, when I noticed my teenage son glance toward your sign where you advertise girls in quasi-birthday suits. That opened up a dialogue of how he will need to work hard to look elsewhere now that he knows that sign is there. It gave me the chance to pose the question, “Is this the man you want to be?” And to say, “Only you will know what you look at – you are growing up. You have the chance to look at anything you want, but is that good enough?”
And, regarding my girls, oh the conversations with my girls. Like the time I was able to say, “Baby, you deserve better than being shown off like this. You were made to change the world. You were made to lead in love and cause those around you to strive for more.” But by far my most favorite conversation to date was about the girls who work here.
Because I have heard some people describe them. They say things like, “That’s disgusting,” and, “Those girls are horrible people.” But because of your sign, Neighborhood Strip Club, I was able to teach my kids that these girls hurt. They have come from abuse and heartache. Their momma forgot to tell them they are beautiful and made to change the world. Their daddy didn’t take the time to tell them, ‘I believe you can.’ You helped me give my kids a better perspective – to approach in love rather than judgment. I can’t thank you enough.