I watched my daughter have her first kiss today. Not many parents get to experience that. Of course, she’s only 3.75 years old. After a few seconds of “aw, shucks, that’s so cute”, it sunk in and I realized this is only the beginning. Nausea is the way my body has decided to absorb this event. And, I’ve been nauseous all afternoon, in-between giggles, of course.
The lowdown: they were sitting on the steps, ready to be signed out of summer school; he turned to her and smooched her, ever so sweetly. This isn’t Harlequin or Sweet Valley High (yes, I am old). I shouldn’t be writing this for at least another 15 years.
Later, we went out to lunch together, as a group. He has a toy motorcycle that he cherishes, as much as I do my free time and a glass of wine. He let her play with it. That’s like my daughter handing over her Princess Belle gown, without frowning and throwing a fit. It’s like a husband giving his wife the remote and letting her pick.
My daughter looked at me and said, “I like motorcycles, Mommy.” Unfortunately, this will not be okay, even in another 15 years. My friend, his mother, laughed and said, “maybe he’ll be picking her up on one, when they’re 20.”
I didn’t laugh (maybe chuckled a bit inside, for a second). I covered my eyes and dropped my head on the table. This will never happen. Not a possibility. Not even close. I won’t insert my husband’s thoughts here because it would be full of “bleeps” or high ASCII characters.
On the drive home, I thought about an article I read recently on how the hard plastic, BPA, has estrogen-like chemicals that have been known to spark early puberty in some animals. There is no concrete evidence in humans, yet, but no one ever thought the use of tobacco could cause cancer. It’s only time before someone does a study and solidifies this finding. Don Draper and his crew light up all day long, but this is frowned upon in present-day TV for a reason (I do love me some Mad Men, though).
Luckily, I buy all BPA-free, plastic products, but there are so many other chemicals that I can’t control at school or at classes. They could have similar unwanted side effects. If burning some soft plastics can release similar chemicals, then it’s in the air that we breathe. It’s in the air that our children breathe. Let’s stop the production of these products and let our children be kids for just a little bit longer.
My sister never had the option to choose BPA-free products. Her kids are already in the double digits. She let her babies use the plastic, bottle liners, unknowingly. She didn’t know any better, but we do.
Early puberty has been known to lead to early menopause. This has been proven. We’ve known this for years. And, menopause leads to lower resistance to certain female cancers.
If they have the genetic code and susceptibility to acquire these diseases, then we’re ultimately toying with their lifespans. We can’t count on the next Salk to make a cancer breakthrough in their lifetimes. Our children aren’t gambling tokens or lottery tickets.
If it’s a matter of money and some can’t afford the expensive, more childproof products, then the government should intervene. With all of the recent bailouts, why not bailout our future? After all, without our children, there is no future.
Maybe someone should create a recycle program for the less fortunate. Glass has been around for years and the percentage of early puberty for our generation was mostly genetic, not environmental. I’m sure these causes exist, so why not fund them somehow. I completely support them and would like to help.
I can handle the cute kissing with a side of nausea and a glass of wine to soothe my stomach and my senses, but not carelessness to protect our children. Right now, I’m pretty sure my husband is buying a shotgun and signing up for lessons at the shooting range, just to prep for, hopefully, 15 years from now.