Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Come on Copenhagen, what about Charlie?

I have to confess to being overcome by despair when I heard the latest reports from the summit in Copenhagen on the radio this morning. Now I'm no political expert and I can't claim to be abreast of all of the details, but I get the distinct impression that things are not going well. And there are only two days left. So I was in real need of a lift when I was granted the gift of this sweet little encounter...

I often take The Booba down to one of the local parks - he loves being outside and ferkling the equipment, but most of all he loves getting to see other kids. And other kids seem to love seeing him! True to form this morning, he'd been at his favourite station spinning the giant naughts and crosses beads for a few seconds when three little kids appeared, drawn like moths to the flame. "Hello baby!" they all cried. The Booba offered up an excited squeal and the 'proto wave' that he's been fervently practicing at random intervals for the last week or so.

The eldest little boy introduced himself and proudly declared his age of 4 (as 4 year olds always seem to do!). He proceeded to tell me all about 'his' baby (his little sister)- who can apparently say "dada" and clap her hands but doesn't crawl yet because she is "a bit lazy". Then we got onto the inevitable topic of Christmas presents. 4-year-old enthusiastically declared his desire for "some leggo and a Starwars light saver". "A Starwars light sabre?" I clarified. "Yes, a Starwars light saver!" he responded.

Then 4-year-old needed to know "what is [The Booba] going to call his little babies when he is a Daddy?". A little surprised, I said I didn't know and that it would probably be up to him. Curious, I asked 4-year-old what he planned to call his babies when he is a Daddy. "Charlie, Joch and Ta" he quickly told me . Charlie, I'm told, will be a little girl. "I think Charlie is usually short for Charlotte when its a little girl" I suggest. 4-year-old looks at me for a minute, thinking hard, and then decides "no, there won't be any Charlottes in my house, only Charlies".

I thought this was really cute, and it made my day, but it also got me thinking. Poor Charlie. I worry that her life might not be very pleasant due to the state of the planet we might be bequeathing her. And as for all those Charlies in the developing world?...it doesn't really bear thinking about. Its easy to start to feel a bit hopeless about the whole thing. Well, as I often do, I'm going to borrow the words of a very wise lady named Eleanor Roosevelt, and remind myself that "it's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". I also find solace in the words of Colin Beavan (a.k.a. 'No Impact Man'*) - "The question.....is not whether I can make a difference, but whether I want to be the type of person who tries". So true.

* See the link to No Impact Man's site below

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