All of these pictures are here to remind you how important it is to always wear protection.
By all means, have kids if you want them (I love mine) and whatever you do, keep enjoying live music and share that love with your kids. But noise causes hearing loss. It is inevitable and irreversible. But it can be slowed by minimizing exposure to extremely loud noise, like heavy machinery and amplified music – any amplified music, even if the sound is “mellow”.
For years I thought I was too cool for earplugs, and went to scores of concerts without them. Now my hearing loss is typical of a person a decade older than me. When your kids go off to college they might be stupid like me, but until then it’s up to you to protect their ears.
Helmets when they ride bikes or motorcycles. Protective ear muffs when they are little, ear plugs when they are big enough. They are not expensive, but not wearing them is.
In the white, liberal, upper middle-class circles I usually inhabit, safety trumps all other values. Helicopter parenting has become the standard for responsible parenting, despite data to the contrary. Schools and parents are increasingly making decisions based on the fear of lawsuits or the fear of disapproval from more safety-conscious parents instead of their own best judgement. So this quote from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book struck me as particularly meaningful.
“I wanted to keep you perfectly safe,” said Silas. “But there is only one perfectly safe place for your kind and you will not reach it until all your adventures are over and none of them matter anymore.”
We should not seek perfect safety for our children, or for anyone we care about.
What do you do when a dream comes true at exactly the wrong time? It took two years to save enough money to go to Eistnaflug. I bought my tickets six months in advance. And then, once I was committed to go, I realized I had to quit my job. Then the roofing project we’d avoided for years finally became unavoidable, and the contractor couldn’t start until the day I was scheduled to leave. The cat got sick and one week before I left, my dog had a stroke. It was hard to imagine him surviving until I got back. I have never come closer to canceling a trip. Continue reading