Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Next Generation

My daughter is having a baby!

Well, not for another few weeks, but it's still given me an occasion to step back and consider procreation, parenting and consumption for the first time in many, many years. Maria was born in the twelfth year of our marriage, after much discussion and ansgt about our relationship, our finances and the Future of the Planet. I was part of a that group of Baby Boomers who delayed parenting, considered being child-free and, when we finally took the plunge, committed to no more than two children. So becoming a parent was, in part, a decision that had ethical dimensions. So did the preparations: cloth diapers, cutting down my childhood dresser to create a changing table, using home made or hand-me-down clothing. But it was clear how hard it would be to escape consumerism.

I wish my daughter and son-in-law well. They have a much stronger community of support than we did, because their friends are on the same path. Her husband was raised in a very self-sufficient household, on a farmstead in West Virginia, and he knows how to plant, preserve and pickle. They are both very selective about what they use and buy, to an extent that intimidates me! After all, I gave up on cloth diapers at three months.

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