Tonight at bedtime, you asked, seemingly out of nowhere, “why are the glaciers disappearing?”

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Alison Anderson
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Dear Daughter,

Starting at age 2, you loved Montana. It’s your favorite state. This doesn’t make much sense. We live in Tennessee. We’d never been to Montana. But, as soon as you got your first puzzle of the United States, it was all Montana, all the time. We ordered books and tourism guides and your interest in Montana became part of the background of our lives.

In 2018, when you were 5 ½, we took a family trip there for 2 weeks, largely to spend time in Glacier Mountain National Park. You were elated. Of course, we knew what was happening to the glaciers. They were disappearing. It would have been impossible to keep it from you, given the ranger talks and signage, and we wouldn’t have tried.

Back home in TN, we’ve been to climate marches and to senators’ offices to argue for clean air and clean water. You understand the Earth is warming.

It’s been 5 months since we hiked up close to your favorite, Salamander Glacier. Tonight at bedtime, you asked, seemingly out of nowhere, “why are the glaciers disappearing?” And then, “when the glaciers in Montana are gone, where will there be glaciers left?”

Oh, how I want to tell you it will all be okay. Not to worry about it. But, the truth is, I can’t bring myself to say it. I don’t know if it will be okay. I don’t know what your life, or your potential kids’ lives will look like due to climate change. For now, I state the facts, and I hope for good political sense and good technology to save us all.

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