Arts & Culture

Note to Self: Adapt

Today, gay marriage is legal in two states, and nine million Americans identify as multiracial. Almost half of all parents are unmarried. Two million children in America are adopted, 4 million are stepchildren, five million live with unauthorized immigrant families. … Read More

By / February 17, 2009

Today, gay marriage is legal in two states, and nine million Americans identify as multiracial. Almost half of all parents are unmarried. Two million children in America are adopted, 4 million are stepchildren, five million live with unauthorized immigrant families. And because America has the highest incarceration rate in the world—one in 100 Americans is in prison— two million children have parents in jail.

Women make up more than half of the American workforce, and the number of stay at home fathers, or “househusbands,” is steadily rising. Americans travel more than almost any other population in the world, and are also more obese, infertile, and Internet savvy.

For these reasons and more, the face of America’s families is almost unrecognizable compared to thirty years ago. Today, a dad ushers a mom out the door (or onto the laptop) and then purees pesticide-free food to feed their half-Mexican child, who was conceived in a doctor’s office and carried by a surrogate—living in India. A mother leaves her daughter with friends to board a midnight bus to a high security prison eighty miles away, where she’ll spend forty-eight hours with her husband–in a trailer designed for conjugal visits. On the way, she creates a spreadsheet on her laptop for a multi-national human resource firm that wires her wages directly into her bank account–from a branch in Korea.

And as I write this, our nation appears to be coming to grips with our unhealthy relationship with oil. Researchers predict that within the next three decades, suburbia will be thrown into chaos as a result of inevitable shortages. McMansion living may morph into off-the-grid habitation for the masses; family rooms once filled with flat-screens and marble and glass furniture will be grow houses, not for drugs, but tomatoes, carrots, and spinach.

CHANGE is everywhere, my friends. It’s in our house and the White House. It’s pounding on our front door, demanding we adapt, or be left irretrievably behind. We’ve gone from what color is your parachute to how creative is your adaptation.

Well? 

Rebecca Walker, author of One Big Happy Family, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and she’ll be here all week. Stay tuned.