Thursday, April 22, 2010


So, I had already decided that for Earth Day we were gonna go see Oceans when I picked up the kids from school. As a surprise. So they wouldn't be stressed out all day trying to maintain their best behavior, which is a surefire way to screw things up.

But the second I showed up, he broke into tears. He'd gotten a red card. (Green > Yellow > Orange > Red) Which meant that he'd had to go talk to the principal. And no, it wasn't for anything major. It wasn't a specific incident. No one was bleeding or bruised or even insulted.

But he'd pushed it about as far as he could go with his teacher. Stepping just outside of his boundaries each and every time she called him on something. And he did it knowingly, consciously making those choices, realizing that he was losing ground, and not making a positive change.

So...he did his time. Sacrificed his recess. Apologized to his teacher. And came home with a sad red face on his progress report.

And I didn't yell. And I didn't scream. And I didn't even ask why. And he said, "Mom, you really didn't respond the way I thought you were gonna."

"No, bubba?" I said. "Sometimes it's nice to surprise people and do something a little unexpected." (Kinda hoping he'd get the hint.)

So, he didn't get any additional punishment from me, but the movie, which really would've been a reward, was a definite no-go. :(

But, after all, it was still Earth Day, and we still had to do our part, despite our less than perfect day, so instead, we strapped on our tennis shoes (and by we, I mean they), and we grabbed a couple of garbage bags (again, they), and we trekked down to the lake. It took us about 2 hours over and back, but we scooped up a whole lot of trash along the way. And I found it so amusing how they both kept talking about "those people" who don't care about the environment, and that they were getting so frustrated with the number of cigarette butts we kept finding, saying that "they'd never just drop these things on the floor in their OWN home, so why do they do it here?" Suddenly so self-righteous, these two.

And, of course, every jogger or walker that passed us by made it a point to comment positively and encourage their efforts, which they just soaked up like the sun.

And in the end, although we were a little tired from all the bending and lugging, I think we all felt like at least we'd done something small to make our little part of the world just a little bit cleaner, and perhaps reinforced to ourselves that no ONE person is responsible for cleaning up the environment. We're all co-owners here.


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