The days are gone when I would cruise solo to work, blasting the music, surfboard on the roof, checking all the breaks along the way. Now with two small children in tow, I carpool down the 101 with another mom to the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura. We travel together as families, bringing our kids to the childcare center onsite that Malinda started over twenty years ago to keep moms and breastfeeding infants together. Yvon jokes sometimes that the best products we turn out of Patagonia are our children.
In the mornings, my van is an action packed vehicle with four small children five and under. We still check the breaks but now it’s dolphins and pelicans we look for instead of surfers. Along the way we have conversations about “where do clouds come from”, “how far is it to the sun” and “why do we carpool”. We answer “We carpool because it’s fun, it saves gas, and it’s good for the environment.”
I recently read that polar bears will probably be extinct in the next fifty years. I have yet to see a polar bear in the wild but I still maintain hope. Will my children have that same opportunity as adults? This thought and others chill my heart. What kind of world have I brought my children into? Most days, I try to stay positive and be mindful of my actions and their impact on environment. As I park under the solar panels in our parking lot, I am grateful for where I am and the opportunity I have to create change. Seeing my colleagues and friends heading out for a lunchtime surf or run sometimes makes me wistful for my old single life. Inside the childcare center, I smile as I hear a caregiver announce to no one in particular “I am stepping out to recycle because it’s good for the earth.” I remind myself to be patient; the ocean and trails will still be there. Right now I’m busy raising the next generation to tread more lightly on the earth.
[Three little bears along for the ride. Photo:mama bear]