I’m posting this mainly for the title, but, come on, how depressingly funny is this?
The first hint that my indoctrination was working came when Cory was 12. We were in Costa Rica, about to hike through the rainforest, (i.e. jungle – ed) and he refused to apply bug repellent (You’re not the boss of him! He’s 12! 12!- ed). Despite (not “despite”. “Because of” – ed) my dozen monologues about mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases, he declined the oily liquid. As payback for my antipathy toward all things chemical, my boy spiked a 103-degree temperature and briefly appeared on the brink of death from dengue fever (these things happen. To idiots and their offspring. – ed).
…I can do nothing right in my teenage son’s eyes. He grills me about the distance traveled of each piece of fruit and every vegetable I purchase. He interrogates me about the provenance of all the meat, poultry, and fish I serve. He questions my every move—from how I choose a car (why not electric?) and a couch (why synthetic fill?) to how I tend the garden (why waste water on flowers?)—an unremitting interrogation of my impact on our desecrated environment. While other parents hide alcohol and pharmaceuticals from their teens, I hide plastic containers and paper towels.