Dear Reader: A Future Forecast and a Promising Generation

ParentMap publisher Alayne Sulkin's son Eli starts his first day of law school | Photo credit: Alayne Sulkin

You know those parents who can’t wait for summer to end? I’m not that parent — not one little bit.

Sadly, the overly structured workplaces that most parents enter and exit daily is a lousy match for kids who want to just chill out during summer break. That in mind, I understand a parent’s need to have order replace summer’s carefree chaos. I feel it too — that desire to be busy — even as I mourn the end of the season.

Speaking of busy, our magnificent middle child, Eli (pictured right) just headed off to Washington, D.C., to earn a joint degree in law and foreign policy. We’re beaming with pride, of course. But not just because he is at law school and wants to positively impact our world, but because he exemplifies how one can gracefully and elegantly move beyond life’s obstacles (a slightly overbearing Jewish mama for starters).

Eli is an outstanding role model to his sisters, parents and his peers because he is humble, self-effacing and a hard-working change agent with a light footprint. After college he spent a captivating year working in New York at the district attorney’s office where he decided law is his calling. 

He looks happy on his first day of school, right? We’re thrilled for him and support his career interests yet know that the days of having our exceptionally sweet son living in our home have faded as his brilliant future emerges.

Fittingly, this month’s feature takes us into the courtroom. Around the country, children are suing for the environment and asserting their rights to live in a healthy and sustainable world. Even better news: They’re winning! It’s inspiring that our children’s and grandchildren’s brilliant future on this beautiful but warming planet is being challenged by none other than kids.

So this fall, as you have your family back-to-school planning session, consider how to reduce your family’s carbon footprint. As local dad and climate change activist Michael Foster puts it: “We feel the most powerful and joyful when we take action on climate. We know we’re doing this for someone besides ourselves. It’s about the next generation.”

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