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Climate Change Is Not a Valid Reason to Avoid Having Children

My children possess an exuberance for life that I desperately want to protect. An infectious wide-eyed awe is one of their most frequent facial expressions. Having recently started T-ball, my five year old son gives himself over to the love of the game, the love of being outside in the dirt and grass, and the love of new friends with a gleeful abandon that can only be birthed from a heart that is still ruled by optimism. When given a new book, a torrent of excited, overlapping words surges from my normally articulate daughter. With eyes as bright as the stars she loves to name, she devours the words on the page, continuing to feed her love and desire for wonder. No matter how often we walk by the rabbits that live in our apartment complex’s courtyard, my kids never tire at excitedly giggling over the bored rabbits. Children remind us that life is a wonderful gift.

But that doesn’t mean that the stresses and fears of the adult world don’t occasionally conduct violent raids into my kids’ innocent world. The night of the attack on Brussels, my ten-year-old daughter tearfully left her bed in fear and found me. My usually hope-filled daughter couldn’t sleep because she was worried that bad people were going to bomb D.C., our hometown.

It’s hard for me to watch the cynicism that adults take for granted begin to send its dark tentacles on a mission to suffocate the joyful innocence with which my kids enjoy the world around them. One of my main parenting objectives is to protect my kids’ love for life from the probably inevitable onslaught of pessimism. I want them to hold onto the truth that life is a gift, not only for their sakes, but also for my sake. On a daily basis, my children remind me that life is a precious and good gift to be desired, cherished, and shared. This is why I don’t understand why many people apparently have to talk themselves into the benefits of bringing life into this wonderful world.