A Mother’s Day Gift…for my Niños

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Photo credit: Monica Arellana-Ongpin

Queridos hijos,

I’ve never been one to care too much about celebrations like Mother’s Day. I feel they are way too commercialized and too much effort is put into material gifts. Plus, my dad — your abuelito — used to say that Mother’s Day is everyday! But I guess you’re too young to understand any of that.

You’re also still too young to understand the perilous state of our planet. But, I’m not. I’ve called earth home much longer than you and I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t done much to try to make it a cleaner place for both of you… until now.

I recently accepted an invitation to become part of a group that wants to make sure parents do everything in their power to protect you, our beloved children, from toxins in both the air we breath and the water we drink. The Moms Clean Air Force was specifically created to fight against the weakening of the Clean Air Act which is under attack by politicians in Congress.

At stake are the new EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards which will prevent 17,000 premature deaths and 120,000 childhood asthma cases every year. A powerful neurotoxin, mercury can harm fetuses and the developing brains of young children. In fact, mercury pollution affects more than 400,000 newborns every year. Why anyone would fail to see the importance of the EPA’s new standards and the need for us to support them is preposterous, to say the least.

I know you have no idea what I’m talking about, but one day you will. And I want to make sure you know that, as the one who gave you life, I did everything I could to try to make this planeta a better place to live for both you and future generations.

On this Mother’s Day, the best gift I could possibly get is for all mamis and papis to heed the wise advice of this ancient Native American proverb:

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.”

We owe you y la madre tierra that much!

This post is part of the MCAF Blog Carnival: A Mother’s Day Gift. If you’d like to join the fight to treat the earth that we’re borrowing from children well, you can start by going here.

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