In praise of this modern Era

Julie - Sacamento, California
Entered on April 1, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, gratitude
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As I was putting away my Annie’s Homegrown organic shells and cheese, and my whole grain goldfish crackers, it occurred to me how glad I am that I’m raising my son in this era. I’m so glad I have these choices right in my regular grocery store and that I don’t have to trek across town to a specialty store to get them.

So much is said negative about our times, and I think too many times people look back on “the good old days” with rose-colored glasses. Yes, there are certainly some things that are worse- air pollution, inflation, HIV/AIDS – we’ve also managed to cure so much and prevent so much. I’ve often wondered if I’d still have my son if I didn’t live in this era of antibiotics. What would that Staph infection have done to his body if left untreated?

I’m grateful that we are looking so much closer at the safety of the things that come into contact with our children.

I’m grateful that we now look at Breastfeeding as natural and healthy, and not with the attitude of my mother’s era – that it was just something that poor people do because they can’t afford the superior “scientifically” formulated infant food the corporations invented.

I’m grateful my son is growing up in an age where he won’t see Black children being sent to a different school than he attends or to the back of the bus. I love that I live in a neighborhood where the Toddlers at his playgroup are all different races and colors, and that he thinks nothing of it.

I love that I can tell him about this election year, when the faces of the candidates weren’t just white male faces. I think his will be the first generation to REALLY believe that “anybody can grow up to be president.”

I’m grateful that despite them both being in their 80’s, my parents have had a chance to be a part of Josh’s life, and I credit this modern era for keeping them healthy and strong.

And most of all, I’m glad I was able to wait until this time in my life when I was really, truly, ready to be a Mom. Social and medical advances allowing me the option of delaying parenthood, and the freedom of choice of when I was to become a mom made it possible. I know I would not have been able to appreciate him the way I do at any other time in my previously selfish life. It’s a harsh judgment of myself, but one that I know to be true.

I hope we can keep the momentum up and make the lifestyle changes we need to to preserve our earth for our children’s children so that I’ll be writing an even bigger Thank-you note to the world ten years from now.