Last week I posted a photo of the new-born goslings along the Hank Aaron State Trail and wrote a bit about the restorative powers of spring and nature. In that post I mentioned my friends Casey and Erin recently had a baby boy they named Ethan. While goslings are cute, babies are quite literally the embodiment of hope, in that they are our future. So small, precious and needy, they remind us of the things that are truly important. Babies cause parents to reflect on how our smallest actions can affect the future in which our children will live. Everything matters, from making sure there are no plastic bags on the floor to the ingredients in the soap we use to wash their clothes.
As parents we work to ensure our children grow up happy, healthy and strong and that we leave them a healthy world in which they can thrive, just as our parents worked on our behalf. It is no small thing to leave the world a bit better off for our children. Riding a bicycle instead of driving a car on occasion is just one of those things we can do for our children. It saves the planet’s resources, keeps the world clean, helps us stay healthy, and allows us to stay in touch with our neighborhood as we move through it. It also sets an example for our children so that some day the act of riding a bicycle for transportation may be viewed as normal.
Hopefully each generation learns from the last, but mistakes are inevitable. That is part of being human. Just as we are working to clean up some of the messes that our parents and grandparents left behind, our children will have to fix the mistakes that we made. We carry the weight of all those daunting responsibilities that come with raising a child with pleasure and ask for little more in reward than the restful joy of holding a baby in our arms once in a while. So with a knowing smile I offer baby Ethan a word of thanks as well as a short apology for the work he has set out before him.