We all want our children to be healthy, to outlive us, to be content, and to exist in a safe, peaceful world. These desires are pretty basic. Clearly, though, there's a worrisome glitch in the parent boom trend: it has nothing to do with the well-being of children who are biologically not ours. This newfound love for babies is entirely insular, concerned only with one's genetic family, one's own perfect, beautiful, well-fed, well-dressed child. Look inside a pregnancy or parenting magazine and you will find that most lack any semblance of social perspective as they offer tired takes on recycled, useless information: "How to lose the baby weight in three days!" "Ten tips for getting back the magic in the bed!"
But the truth is that while middle-class women squabble about whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed, 39,000 families with children in this city are in dire need of affordable homes. For every day we bicker over stay-at-home moms versus mothers who work full-time, four children in this country will die from abuse or neglect, and eight more will be killed at the hand of someone operating a gun, according to Children's Defense Fund statistics.
The self-centeredness of Gen X parents manifests as blindness to these sad realities, and here I indict myself again. Why do I only act on behalf of my child when I have the means to do something that could help other, less fortunate children? Maybe the answer is too painful to consider. Maybe I'd rather shop for a new sling instead. *