The Worse Decade Ever? This Mother Disagrees about the Decade of Disaster
Something I almost forgot with columnists and talking heads trying to pick the best name for the past ten years. Or should I say worst name. The Decade of Misplaced Fear and Anxiety. The Decade of America's Decline. The Decade of Arrogant Aggression. The Naughty Aughts. The Double Oh-Ohs.
At first I joined right in trashing the decade, myself pondering names for the past decade in the parenting biz. After all, what a time it's been for the child-rearing set. Thanks to the internet and 24/7 cable channels, we have an unprecedented, massive, unwieldly amount of information, and by that I mean, misinformation. Distorted studies. Outright crappy studies. Authoritative recommendations. No tv for toddlers! Breastfeed or Else. The rise of childhood obesity. The rise of autism. The rise of peanut allergies. The rise of whole-wheat, evaporated cane sugar, and omega-three fatty acids. The rise (and fall ) of Baby Einstein. The vaccine debacle. The circumcision debate. Mommy Bloggers. Helicopter Parents. Free Range Parents. Attachment Parenting. Co-sleeping. Toxic Cold Meds. The Perils of Plastic (hello, our chemical co-conspirators, bisphenol a and phthalates). Organic milk, organic baby wipes, organic crib mattresses...
And then I remembered - it's The Decade of Parenting, at least for me and most of you. The decade many of us became parents for the first time. True, I disliked plenty about being pregnant and so much of those first few months, okay, years - but I refuse to slap it with the historical equivalent of the Scarlet A.
What a peaceful, promising start. It was the new millenium after all and my oldest child had the grace and good fortune to arrive during 2000 forever granting her a really cool birthdate. But her first birthday fell days after the terrorist attacks. My husband stood in the shadows of the Trade Towers, talking to me on the phone as the second plane hit. We felt like celebrating not a bit. My mother and father came to town and like the good and wise parents they are helped me and my husband fashion a "party" out of a few good friends and a cake mix.
It's dishonest to say I wasn't anxious in those following months. But I did it again, pregnancy, childbirth, the new baby who doesn't sleep, two more times. And despite whatever international-political-financial-calamity it's been, despite the ill advice, the botched studies, or exaggerated media coverage it's brought, this decade's not nearly bad enough to discount those three not so tiny people in my life.
So I'm sorry but I simply cannot call this one crappy decade.