Clean Air...Take My Breath Away

Gee, I love my kids. You would think that as children grow up and fly away from the nest, one would get over the initial infatuation. Not so. I lovingly remember my kids as babies, young children and even teenagers, but that’s not what tugs at me as I sit here in my empty nest. What I love so are the people those babies have become. Their independence in their new lives, how they choose to express themselves with their newly found confidence and strength - they absolutely take my breath away.

My daughter and son are on the brink of…everything. The journey that lies ahead as they inch closer and closer to…dare I say, creating families of their own, is wide open.

Take My Breath Away My son is taking a yoga class. He is inspired to share with me his discovery of noticing his breath. Just like I eyed him breathing in and out when he was a sleeping infant under my mom’s handmade quilt, now this tall, handsome young man is teaching me the importance of harnessing my breath. He reminds me that in the day-to-day balance of work and taking care of my (mostly) empty nest, I sometimes forget to breathe. Of course, I know exactly what he’s talking about. Not only have I dabbled in yoga for years, like him, I yearn for clean air to restore my body as I grow (couldn’t bring myself to write – “as I age”). Really, he takes my breath away.

Don’t Take My Breath Away The Clean Air Act has protected the air, water, our children and families for forty years. The Clean Air Act is under attack in ways that could dilute, delay and even ditch the EPA's ability to update and enforce air pollution standards.

When the Environmental Defense Fund asked me to join the Moms Clean Air Force, it was a no-brainer. This grass roots campaign is mobilizing parents to strengthen the Clean Air Act. Why parents? We are a passionate bunch, and when someone messes with our kids – watch out. Just as our parents protected us when the Clean Air Act was first passed, now it's our turn.

Like most moms who like to be in control, my parental heart is springing to action. I’m still going to stick to my unofficial blogging rule, which is: Teach Don’t Preach – BUT (you knew that was coming) this stuff matters to me, and I write about things that matter. After a reading marathon of many of the EDF's Clean Air Resources, I'm taking the gloves off.

Breathe In…

3 Reasons We Are At Risk

1. Toxics - Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency released the Mercury and air Toxics Standards. It's the first-ever national policy to regulate mercury and other nasty stuff spewing from the coal plants that provide us with electricity. These standards have been 20 years in the making. While many responsible coal-fired plant owners have installed the technology, they are now faced with fending off a bombardment of pro-polluters who would like to abolish the regulation. 2. Lead - In the 1970's when the Clean Air Act was passed, 88.2 percent of U.S. children had elevated blood-lead levels. In just the first 25 years of the Clean Air Act that number dropped significantly to 4.4 percent. 3. Science - Many scientific breakthroughs are on the chopping block as politicians are putting politics before common sense progress.

Breathe Out…

3 Things You Can Do Right Now

1. Tweet With Us: Follow Moms Clean Air Force here to get the latest updates about actions in Congress, newly released reports about air pollutants and toxicity, events, blog posts and much more. I’m not a huge Tweeter, but anything I write gets loaded up on my Twitter page. 2. Facebook Us: Join Moms Clean Air Force on Facebook here and share our page with your networks. Come say hi to me here too. 3. Submit Your Story: If you have a personal story or experience with polluted air or its health impacts, share it with us. We'll collect them and send them to Congress. Please limit your submissions to 500 words. If you’re shy about writing, I’ll sweeten the pot and offer to edit or help you write it. Pop me an email.

What do you want to take your breath away - spewing power plants, or your incredibly amazing kids? We need clean air to breathe. I want it for my babes, and I want it for yours.

Photo: Flickr via Creative Commons