I don’t worry about the future for your kids. I worry about the future for my kids. If I didn’t have my own, I’d probably be less proactive about trying to save the world. Yes, that’s selfish, but I’m going to blame biology. In truth, I can no longer remember what it feels like not to have offspring, so that argument’s fairly irrelevant. Plus it’s already the future. Except for the flying cars.
On that note, here’s what’s been freaking me out lately ... because I’m a parent.
Weather on steroids: Last month was officially the warmest March since weather record-keeping started in the U.S. in 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There were more than 15,000 warm weather records broken across the country — smashed by the white-hot heat index. While my Progess Energy bill was lower than usual as a result, I’m concerned that air conditioning may become a a summer necessity at my little house. And since I don’t currently have air conditioning, that’s a problem. Thus, I’ll be crabby and my kids will be crabby. And holy hell, how are my kids going to survive climate change with no a/c?
Man-made earthquakes: There’s evidence that recent dramatic increases in the number of earthquakes in the U.S. is being caused by oil and natural gas drilling. Anyone read Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63? And you thought that section was fiction? I did. But no, fracking equals earth abuse which equals quakes which equals damage to our fragile earth crust world (I’m not sure how time travel fits into the equation exactly, but King has a better understanding of that stuff than I do). Save the children from fracking, please. While these earthquakes seem more prevalent in the heartland, there’s a good bit of drilling happening here in the Appalachian Mountains. So I’m just sitting, waiting for more ground shaking, while I use natural gas to cook supper.
Speaking of supper, what’s up with pink slime, salmonella, antibiotics and sex hormones in our food? All this stuff almost makes me want to have a hippie blessing ceremony over my non-existent backyard garden. Almost.
But I will not have urban chickens. Think about it. When the Zombie Apocalypse happens, where are the zombies all going to hang out? Wherever there are free caged animal brains. Those of you who are farmers are toast.
Seriously though, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says that teenagers overdosing on prescription drugs has increased dramatically. The number of teen overdose deaths has almost doubled in the last decade. Forget hiding the sex toys, parents, lock up your drugs! I’ve heard from a number of teens that their friends regularly raid their parents’ (and their friends’ parents’) medicine cabinets.
The good news from the CDC is that teenage pregnancy rates are down. Yay condoms and sex education!
College: How exactly do kids afford to go to college anymore? If they take on student loans, will they suffer under the debt load forever when they can’t find decent jobs after spending four years studying and drinking too much beer? These questions keep me up at night.
Thanks for reading about some of my parental freak-outs. In case you other parents have been getting enough sleep lately...