Dear Potential Future Kiddo,
You’re one of the things I have known I’ve wanted, viscerally in my gut, since I was a little girl myself. I may be lacking a significant number of traditional feminine traits, such as a willingness to brush my hair or cook a proper meal, but the instinct to create life burns through my blood like the increasingly prevalent Montana wildfire. The desire to make a little Sierra isn’t driven by logic or reason- it’s as primal as my need for water and sunshine.
Unfortunately, I’m also an environmentalist.
Four years of my undergraduate program as an Environmental Studies student were spent being hounded with lessons on our planet’s encroaching carrying capacity and climate crisis driven by an exponentially exploding population. If I want to reduce my ecological footprint as much as possible, perhaps the most powerful tool I have at my disposal is to abstain from having children.
I’ll spare both of us from attempting to articulate just how much that pains me.
To think that my choices of sustainable commuting, eating a plant based diet, and working on our City’s zero waste program likely pale in comparison to the impact of not having a baby is nothing short of devastating. Does it make me a bad environmentalist to honor my maternal instincts?
Potential Future Kiddo of mine, I hope you’re reading this. I hope our administration wakes up and listens to our demands, desperate cries, and pleas for change. I hope I can make the decision to have you without the guilt of our planet’s longevity on my shoulders.
I hope you’re born into a community powered by renewables. A community where you can safely bike to school and don’t think twice about tossing your PB&J crust into a compost bin. A community that has appropriately responded to the horror that is our current climate crisis. I hope to sit beside you on the plastic-free banks of the Clark Fork River as you experience the dumbfounding awe that is the stillness of a Great Blue Heron for the first time.
I will never stop fighting to make this vision a reality. Hope to see you one day, Potential Future Kiddo.
Potential Future Mama