My son turned one yesterday. I spent most of Sunday reminiscing about the labor–when Kirsten first felt contractions… going to the birth center… back labor… water injections in the back… getting into the birthing tub… the moment I first laid eyes on my son. Kirsten’s memory of the birth is far different than my own. Small wonder.
The last year has been, well, the most humbling and awe-inspiring time of my adult life. I can’t remember what my first 12 months on earth were like, but I’m guessing they were pretty intense, too. In retrospect, if someone had told me that Kirsten and I would be trying to raise two babies at once–a child and a climate change organization, both for the first time, mind you–I would have asked for a couple of months of straight sleep to prepare.
So, what’s surprised me the most? Well, beyond the apparently unlimited capacity of the human heart to feel joy, love, tenderness, fear, uncertainty, frustration, heart-breaking love … it’s the poop. The countless hours cleaning and discussing poop.
As I’m sure many parents can relate, the tension between caring for your child and working on something for which you have great passion is real. And so are the moments of resentment, panic that you can’t balance it all, and worry that one or both will suffer because you simply don’t have the time, energy or mental capacity to be always present. But when it comes to Climate Changers, there is far greater confluence and amplification between the two. My worry about the climate crisis and the future makes me that much more fierce of a protector and care-taker. And, of course, Climate Changers was born from and is about our love for our child and our empathy for other parents who feel the same for their own.