There are 8 [eight] of us: an old-world wife, a new age husband, three giddy girly girls and three of the best bad boys I’ve ever come to know. I am known amongst friends and family for happily being polite, some might even say too polite. “Ladies first” is an ideal that I hold in my heart as the correct order of things and to my understanding of her very broken English, my wife appreciates that quality about me quite a bit. Even though this is a value I try to keep within my everyday actions to make the women in my life feel special, the boys were first in the birth order. I feel as if they cut in front of their sisters in the “line of life”, which I guess is why I try to enforce that value onto my boys as much as possible because in some weird way.
We are nothing like the Brady Bunch, although by looking at the arrangement of our family, it is humorously close but with a twist. As of right now, we live in very tight quarters and pray for more living space faithfully every night before bed. The saying “more is not always better” makes at least four of my children roll their eyes in a way that then causes me to have the same reaction, but for slightly different reasons. They want more games, toys, snacks, candies, clothes, shoes, etc.; while my wife and I just want more space, patience and financial security, which would all bring the two of us some peace of mind. It seems like the only thing that our kids don’t want more of is, well, more kids.
As you can imagine, this wish a very sturdy common ground we share with our kids, especially the older ones. But I think our rationale might be different. The problem is that they have this twisted idea- if we have more kids, the less things they will receive on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays. Mrs. Rebeiro and I had known for some time now that this was not the case, even before the point of no return when we found each other and fell in love. We knew that life would not be all that kind to us if we remained weak minded and afraid with myself having three children and her with two. As a result, we chose to solidify our love and commitment to one another through marriage and with one more bundle of joy. Not the best thing we could have done for our pockets, but it was the only thing we could think of that could of filled our hearts with that feeling of eternal and everlasting love, and it did the job very well.
You must be asking yourself right about now, “What does this have anything to do with obtaining sustainability for the Rebeiro family?” It is a challenge every day to find a way to use and reuse what resources we have at our disposal to keep our way of life stable without using too much. If we use too much and don’t track our consumption of certain facets of our life then towards the end of the month we will be without certain things that we feel that we need to keep us and the kids satisfied and comfortable. In my opinion, we are very resourceful due to the nature of our financial status.
I believe that we could use our “financial brokenness skills” to help us lower our carbon footprint and heighten our awareness through certain daily/weekly actions. I think these actions greatly affect the world in which our children will become adults, or at least the frame of mind they will have in the future, no matter what the world looks like. One examples is that since we are consistently eating fruits and vegetables in our home, I suggested that we stop throwing the scraps of such foods away in the trash and start a simple compost bin or pile in the backyard. In time we would then be able to use this compost in our fairly large garden boxes that are in the backyard as well. They have great potential to grow a very healthy harvest again and again each year.
Although it is pretty late in the season, I also suggested that we start growing food together as a family and make days where all we do is spend the day tending to our garden and letting the kids pick what they want to help grow. Teaching them about gardening would be something that would be relaxing, therapeutic and could spark some interest and more ideas that the kids could get excited about and act upon themselves. My wife has extensive knowledge of farming and I have several years of experience in urban agriculture, however, neither of us have really used these skills to pass onto our kids due to life just being a bit hectic. However, now that our family is complete, we can start thinking about creating a structure of sustainability and I believe that we should start with composting, gardening and teaching our children about how the simple act of planting a seed and showing it the proper love can feed us in more than one way throughout the entirerty of our lives. Eventually, I believe gardening could feed the soul of my family and bring us closer than ever before.