Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed In

Photo from Nyack Snap

It is a blizzard and we cozy in our little stone house. The ham in the oven has infused the house with familiar childhood smell of Sunday dinner. The Beast is reconfiguring her iPod music into folders and subfolders at the dining room table as she sips hot chocolate. The Man and I are happily ensconced in the living room within earshot of the quietly singing child as we sink into our deep, old couches and shift the sleeping cats closer and warm our legs with the heat of our laptops.

This is us--separate, but together.

I was just reading a story about the sharp drop in teen pregnancy in the US. “They”, whoever “they” might be, have not formulated a theory to go with this new data, but some people say it is due to the economy—which makes sense to me. Not because teens do the math and realize it would be EVEN harder to have kids in this economy rather than a booming one, but because families are probably spending more time together as they weather the poor market.

We live in a rather fancy-smancy neighborhood full of Viking stoves, BMW SUVs, Mc Mansions and excessively large flat screen TVs. I have noticed with the tanking of the economy that there has been return to the simple pleasures rather than the fiendish desire for more and more. Even here, in this upper middle class suburb, you don’t really hear people talking about their newest purchase because they are either not making them or they realize there is a new mindset to go along with this stormy economic environment.

I think the recession has stopped a lot of people from feeling the need to keep up with the Jones and just like during a snow storm—to slow down, make sure family is safe and then to happily hunker-down at home and appreciate what they have.

And I think that is what kids want more than the big screen TV or all the status symbols—they want their parent there. So perhaps this return to the essentials is what is helping the teen pregnancy rate. When your whole family is home—when does a teen have time to get intimate? They don’t and hence my theory.

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