The 7th billion Earth citizen is thought to have been born this week. People who study these things (populationists, perhaps?) predict this landmark baby was born somewhere in India.
Did you know my in-laws lived in India for 3 years and Taylor and I spent 6 very long weeks in India during our last childless summer?
Our travels in Europe taught me that life as I know is not life everywhere else in the world. So, I traveled to India with an open mind, knowing that I had no way of preparing myself for what we might see.
So, yeah. I was appropriately culture shocked.
But, what most amazed me were the children. Children were everywhere. Families living in lean-to tents on the side of highways with their toddlers playing in the 3 foot wide median between lanes of traffic. Children pooping on the sidewalk. Children hawking their goods to tourists. Mamas bathing their children with dirty water in public. Children begging for coins. Children dressed for school in their proper little uniforms. Daddies driving motorcycles as the mama clung several small children tightly during a bouncy ride on an uneven paved road.
Lots and lots of children. Everywhere. Children doing the same things as my children but without the space and privacy afforded to us as middle class Americans.
So, when I think about the 7th billion baby arriving earthside in India and memories of our time in India, I am left with only one thought:
Gratitude that even though I am often at odds with America's consumer culture of 'bigger and better', I know my babies will always have clean water, plenty of food and will never live a life where sleeping in a tent on the side of a busy intersection is their normal.