Arriving to see LTYM: Atlanta in this rad restored 1930s movie palace. Love it! #ltymshow #findnewroads
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1. When my elder son was a baby I moved to an intentional community where the main building was a geodesic dome. Houses did not have plumbing. We shared a showerhouse, flushing toilets, and everything else. We heated with wood and did not have air conditioning. I saw the night sky every single night during the years I lived there because you had to leave your home to pee or to make popcorn (with nutritional yeast and Spike) in the Dome kitchen. One night a mother snake crossed the foot of my bed, trailed by her children. I did not know snakes led each other around like ducklings. I learned a lot about the Earth, fast.
2. If you mention whales (or even whale parts like "baleen") around my children you might trigger traumatic memories of being trapped in epic sessions of the cooperative game Save the Whales. Not unlike its polar opposite Monopoly, this game never ends. You must work with each other to resolve the horrific crisis of whale population attacks, the onslaught of oil spills and other impossible-to-solve and child-unfriendly topics. Players will learn more than they wanted to know about whale reproduction as well as about their own personal competitive drive -- a drive so uncooperative that it longs to slaughter all of the whales everywhere right now if it means freedom from this impossible mission. Survivors of "Save the Whale" will in a few years read Ayn Rand and say "she has a few points."
3. Raising children before the Internet meant hours with the Mothering magazine classified section and the Hearthsong recylced newsprint catalog and on trips to the cozy children's nook at the feminist bookstore to find Earth-friendly, people-positive products. Which we could do because there were feminist bookstores before the Internet killed them as though the Internet is a whaling vessel and feminist bookstores were beautiful, free whales... STOP MAKING ME SAD EARTH DAY.
4. My own public elementary school was almost as cool as my children's independent private creative curriculum schools because almost all of our teachers were Vietnam draft-dodging hippies. Parachute game day was the very best gym day possible. (Second was the non-Earth Day approved bombardment game days. Always watch out for the sturdy girls.)
5. Second child: 10 pounds, 8 ounces, no meds. Stone cold bragging rights.
6. Lesbian community potlucks. We had options in hummus before hummus was cool.
7. I can call the directions at your Equinox celebration, should you need someone to do that for you.
8. Independent school camping trips. So when your kids attend schools where every day is Earth Day in philosophy and in the use of recycled products for everything from art supplies to furnishings, and then the entire school goes camping with parents who include every manor of outdoor sports enthusiast/whole food devotee/alt med practitioner possible, things get real. It's Earth Day to the Sagan degree. Don't pack the wrong sunscreen, for one thing, because that's a label-reading lecture I wouldn't wish on my worst frenemy. Who happened to be on that trip. Also, FYI, crystal deodorant isn't going to happen. Most people try it once and figure that out. But these parents aren't most people. Except for that, I adored those years and miss making school happen with them.
9. I lived through Hurricane Andrew in a Central Florida loblolly pine tree forest. The crack and thud of pine trees all around my relatively tiny cabin is the only Earth Day education I'll ever need.
10. I once was excused from Jury Duty because I had "Love Your Mother" and Grateful Dead bumperstickers. Earnestly applied. I believe the attorneys also asked us about magazine subscriptions, which at the time included Utne Reader. And that's what you call testing out of Earth Day for life.