The consequences of delay

Yesterday morning, Mookie delayed and delayed on answering the daily question, “What do you want for breakfast?” Finally I said, “I’m counting down from 5. Tell me by then or you’ll have to get breakfast on your own.” She insisted, “I’m thinking! I’m thinking!” right up until zero, then told me what she wanted, a few seconds late. I didn’t get it for her. She likes to go down to the wire or beyond, and I am trying to teach her that if she pushes a situation until it’s too late, she’ll have to deal with the consequences.

Later in the day, I read about the recently released National Climate Assessment, and almost every comment online denied that we have a problem. Then I read about the likely global collapse of saltwater fish populations. Bringing up a child to know that delay has painful consequences isn’t fun, but we see what it’s like to live on a planet where the dominant cultures have acted as if, no matter what they do or for how frivolous a reason, someone else will fix it for them.

Right now, Mookie doesn’t know what losses are going on all around her, such as the disappearance forever of animal species she loves. Soon she will, and my heart will break along with hers. But at least, before then, we will have given her some skills, some attitudes, that might help her to make wiser decisions than people have done before.

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