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Missy Cotter Smasal
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Dear Little Loves,

I’d like to take the opportunity this Mother’s Day to make a promise to you. While we have ideals that guide us day to day, writing this down will make them more tangible and serves as a reminder to not push them aside for comfort or convenience.

More than anything, I wish happy and healthy long lives for you. We’ve taken so many small steps at home to establish a healthy foundation for you, in fact, your Dad and I have obsessed over every detail. But as you grow, you’re exposed to more and more things that challenge, and even run counter to, those ideals.

So, here are some of our family values. We want to care for our planet so it can be a healthy home for you, and perhaps, your children one day. We want our beaches and bay to be clean, and for the ocean ecosystem that brings us both food and fun to be prioritized. We want to protect our parks and green spaces so we can continue to hike and explore. We want to be thoughtful and restrained consumers, in order to minimize the trash that pollutes our planet. We value farmers, stores, and restaurants that proactively embrace sustainability.

With these values in mind, we will use our voices, votes, and dollars to stand up to the bullies of the world. We will not allow them to treat our planet and its natural resources as disposable. We will be good stewards and will demand the same from leaders. And, most of all, we will stay informed and pay attention. Protecting our planet is so similar to parenting; it requires interest, dedication, thoughtfulness, knowledge, attention, and love. I promise to strive to live up to these ideals, to set the example for you, and to continue to guide you to be stewards of the world. Maybe one day you will find a solution to climate change, or build a program or machine that improves the environment. Perhaps one day you will write or enact laws to protect our citizens and the planet, or lead industries in the future green economy. We will be the change we want to see in the world.

With all my love,
Mommy
Missy Cotter Smasal
Virginia Beach Moms Clean Air Force

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