As you read, it’s 2066. But as I write, you’re three and I’m 29. I’m on the bus on my way to work and it’s snowing. There have already been three snow days this winter! Right now, you’re living in Fort Lauderdale and I’m so lucky to get to see you at least twice a year, including this upcoming Christmas. You were here over Mother’s Day and played in the patches of snow still left on the mountain at Stowe. You also visited this summer and spent lots of time in our garden, with Tio Scott and Tio Drew, eating cherry tomatoes like candy 🙂
I am so proud of how your parents are raising you to care about our planet and make choices and sacrifices to look out for it. You have no clue what a badass vegan you already are! However, it’s clear that where you live is going to be affected by sea level rise in my lifetime, let alone yours. I worry about how that is going to affect you and your parents. It’s such an ideal place for your mom to live, by her sister and with an easy flight back home to Peru. Peru is considered to be one of the most at risk Latin American countries in terms of climate change. Maybe more of your Peruvian family will come to the United States in the future. However, that’s getting harder and harder to do with the restrictive immigration policies in our country.
I think a lot about where the right place to live is. Where we live now is great in many ways. But we are far away from my entire family in Pittsburgh. Moving home would mean leaving great friends, a meaningful job and a beautiful place here in Vermont. In the future, I expect transportation will be less accessible due to severely decreased natural resources, policies limiting emissions, or prohibitively expensive thanks to market mechanisms. I’m not sure that I will be able to easily travel to see you or my other family hundreds of miles away. But maybe I’m wrong and Elon Musk will build his hyperloop train and we can zoom all over the continent in no time at all! Regardless, family is important to me and I want to make sure that we can be together especially when climate change starts to make life harder. I think it’s going to be really important to have strong local communities of support and what’s a better community of support than your family?
Speaking of family, that’s another topic on my mind. What might my family look like in the future? Will we have kids that you call cousins and who look up to you as their “big cousin”? If we do, they will surely be adopted. Right now it’s being made harder and harder for women to access abortions and I think that will mean even more children will be put up for adoption in the future. I feel lucky to have had access to abortion services. If I hadn’t, we’d have a child about your age today! In that way, you have been a touchstone for us and sometimes we reflect on how different our life would have been if our choices were different or our options had been limited.
This letter is a snapshot of my 2019 concerns and my projections of what the future we both share might look like. I’ve asked a lot of questions that you already know the answer to, because these things have since come to bear. I want you to know that I’ve dedicated my studies and career to working towards a better future for all of us.
XO <3 XO Tia Caylin