Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No country for small children

Guests occasionally volunteer their opinion that the place I live might, perhaps, not be ideal for raising children.

I disagree, of course. For one thing, the overhead up here is low. A family could, with only modest sacrifices, live on half a wage while enjoying a standard of living vastly superior to even the wildest dreams of the majority of the world's population. A child could easily be kept blissfully ignorant of the trappings of the modern society and released into the wild, Nell-like, replete with speech impediments and finely honed survival skills at an appropriate age. I just don't see how this could go wrong.

Despite my prodigious debating skills, this seems to be one battle I am destined not to win. I will have to straddle two worlds for a while. Until that kid has been brainwashed to take my side.

When I moved to the forest, nobody had e-mail addresses or cell phones. Kurt Cobain was still alive. Basically, I've lived here all my adult life, first in assorted rented cabins, the last five years in my own off-grid hovel. I really like it.

Above is an example of how convenient this life is,. That's my front-loading trike braving a part of the road temporarily flooded by some heavy rain some years ago. How could life be easier.


Oldfool said...

That is a perfect place for raising children. Keep debating. You won't win but it is the right thing to do.
I am completely at odds with SWMBO most of the time. Had I won I would be on the other side of the world on my sail boat or dead. Children changed the course of my life but it ain't bad.

Andy in Germany said...

I'm with you on this, but than I only know a few details. Would it be impossible to work out a compromise, say move home a tad closer to things that look 'civilized' like railway stations and surfaced roads, while still living off grid?
I never did get the idea that living off grid is bad for kids. High-rise apartments, cars, and pollution are bad for kids, as are stressed parents trying to make ends meet.
On the other hand, any potential dad who is willing to make major life changes like this, probably isn't going to turn out so bad as a father.

Sara Outdoors said...

Before comming to Alaska, I didn't want a family of my own. Now I do. I would love to raise children in a place like this, instilling in them a love, knowledge and respect for the land and the wild. Thats my two cents.