We spend a lot of time nurturing and shaping our children based on our beliefs and ideals. We create toxin free homes and fill our kids plates with organic GMO free food as often as possible. But what if the unimaginable happened and we were no longer here to guide our children into adulthood. It's a topic we all hate talking about and trust me I am even having a hard time writing about it. However, I think it's an important discussion to have. Who do we pick to fill that role for us? What if they don't have the same beliefs and ideals as us? Is that even something to consider?
For Joe and I it is absolutely something that needs to be considered but we know that currently there isn't anyone in our life who is environmentally conscious as we are. So a word that comes up often is compromise. What is the absolutely most important aspects that we would need to keep in B's life. I think back to what I grew up with and how it shaped me into the environmentalist that I am today and that is what I feel is the most important.
A Love for the Outdoors
How can one learn to love nature and fight to protect it if they do not spend time surrounded by it. I spent a lot of time outside as a kid. We spent most of the summer camping and hiking and in the winter we were cross country skiers. Now that I have my own family I too aim to have B spend as much time learning to love nature as I did. This is an important aspect of B's life that we would want to continue.
A Desire to Eat Healthy Food
I realize that the need to serve organic and GMO free food is probably not something that I can assume a guardian would continue on for us. Especially not at the percentage we are currently at. So what is the important aspect to focus on? Food that is healthy with a focus away from junk and a desire to grow your own, even if that means just one or two plants. This summer B will be getting his own veggie garden in which he can grow whatever it is that he wants. I am hoping to kick start his connection with his personal garden to plate which will allow him to make healthy food choices as he grows.
A Focus on Time and Not Stuff
I don't like having stuff just to have something. I feel that everyone needs to have a purpose and otherwise is just perpetuating a consumerist society. We don't buy B a lot of toys, in fact I barely buy him any. He gets toys for his birthday and Christmas but otherwise that's about it. Instead we fill his shelves with puzzles, books, board games and art supplies. Most nights as dinner cooks we find ourselves sitting at the table playing Snakes and Ladders or Uno or Go Fish. We are lucky that the majority of our friends and family also focus on spending time together as a family and less on material goods.
A Voice for What's Important
I want to create an environment where B knows that he can be passionate about whatever is important to him and that he can use his voice to advocate for his beliefs. I want an environment where B is allowed the freedom to grow into the individual that he will become. I want him to not only know that it is okay to stand up for what is important but I want him to be urged to do so.
A Need to Minimize Exposures
Since Joey and I both worked in the chemical industry we have somewhat of an insiders perspective on the toxins that are in everyone's lives so minimizing exposure is important. I don't expect anyone to do the same level of research that I have done but knowing that he won't be living in a clorox filled home is key.
From an environmental perspective what is on your list when you are considering guardians?
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