Yani was thirsty after a beautiful morning surf.
I handed him our old beaten up metal water bottle that I had filled before we left that morning.
Over the past days I had been suggesting he should change over to to the metal bottle (even though it was smaller) - because the reusable plastic one (he had won in a competition) was bad for him. I told him that it made the water taste funny and could affect his hormones and make it harder to make babies.
[Interwoven with this discussion was my commenting on the (media hyped) zika virus and new evidence pointing to the real culprit being new chemicals used to damage the larvae of mosquitos in water tanks in Colombia and Brazil. zika virus, microcephaly and pesticide connection The tragedy of increasing birth defects - especially in the poorest of the poor communities - often in places where parents have no other choice but to work in chemical laden agriculture or floriculture industries - sheds light on so many issues. Why the panic over the new zika virus and its possible threats to privileged populations? It all means increased profits to the companies, hand in hand with the media tycoons, who will invariably develop new ‘essential’ vaccines to contain the spread, or breed and release genetically modified mosquitos (opening another pandora box).]
Anyway, Yani took a big gulp and said - 'oh yeah, you’re right Mum, it tastes so much better!’. And I said; ‘yep, and I think the world will be a better place with your babies in it’ - or something like that!
Then Pacha piped up and said; ‘but isn’t it bad to have kids now with the world we have created?’
I was blindsided and in the before school rush couldn’t really reply properly, mumbling ‘of course you can’ mainly because I have an automatically positive response setting to most curly questions - but the thought of the answer has been dancing around on the edge of my consciousness in the hours since…
Should my children have children?
Can my children even have children??
It was a question like one I had often asked of myself (should I have children?), as an activist who was (too) aware of the world and the way it was going. And yet, fate (and enough hope) conspired and here I am with the loves of my life beside me.
No doubt things have gotten worse. And yet, and yet, the ecstasy of life gives forth to new life!
So I will say to them when they come home from school; 'yes; of course you can have children if you choose! You will find a beautiful place, person(s) and way to live; simply and naturally, adapting and changing to whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Everything about this existence is a miracle!'
Prescript on plastic water bottles;
The day, before I had accompanied a friend who had insisted on buying me something to eat from the bakery so not to be eating alone. When he reached in the store’s fridge to grab a bottle of water for me I said; ‘no thanks - I don’t drink those!’. The woman behind the counter responded in alarm; ‘what’s wrong with our water?’. I kept it short (no need to going into plastics, and health and water quality and hormones and multinational corporations privatising water and the global economy (etc, etc) and just said;
‘oh, I pick up too many plastic bottles at the beach every morning - I prefer to bring my own water bottle.’.
Her eyes told me she wasn’t impressed...