Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Three Year Old's World

Back from the wilds of South Mississippi, and trying to catch up. Given the four day weekend I just had, I was particularly taken by an exchange Jon Christensen began at the Uneasy Chair on a new book called Killing the Natives: Has the American Dream Become a Nightmare? by Guy McPherson. More precisely, the discussion revolves around part of the book's dedication and afterword that seems to make the choice of being childless more moral than having children. The quote is " "On the most important issue, I am atypically childless. I made this decision on moral grounds more than twenty years ago."
Once you get past the chest thumping, back slapping (difficult to do at the same time) tone of that sentence, there's nothing really wrong with it. But I guess what made me ruminate on it was the experience of being a dad. My three year old daughter and I spent four great days with my dad, camping in the backyard, exploring the beach, catching beads at a St. Patrick's day parade and just hanging out. We were able to introduce her to the joys of warm beignets at the Cafe DuMond in the French quarter. Yeah, I know, I'm just teaching my child bad habits of finding happiness in fried things with sugar. So sue me. we both loved it.
I can't speak for others, but being a Dad has made me more appreciative of the world. I spent 20 years in news before my wife and I had our daughter, and I know it has completely changed my perspective. I see people more as individuals rather than theoretical groupings. I am more conscious of the fragility and wonder of life.
I know that all the physical things in this world are finite, and that overconsumption is a major threat to the world and to my daughter's future. I'm glad that Mr. McPherson has made a choice that makes him happy. But I'm pretty happy about the choice my wife and I made too.


Blogger Tom Andersen said...

Pat -- one is fine at our advanced age, because with 2 against 1, you still have good odds. But have another and the odds change. Two younger-than-10 kids against two older-than-40 parents -- phew! I need steroids just to keep up.

Joking, of course. Glad to see you've returned from your wilderness experience to the parallel universe of blogging.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Pat Burns said...

It may be time for a new blog... Geezers with Toddlers!

8:58 PM  

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