When I pick Harper up at pre-school each day at 11:30, I sometimes get there early enough to see Meredith at recess. (One of my very favorite things to do is park the car, listen to a little This American Life, and watch Meredith running around with her friends. Sometimes I have hot tea with me. It really doesn’t get much better than that, does it?)
This morning as the kindergarten kids lined up for the walk back to the building, I noticed a plastic bag blowing around on the sidewalk. As the kids passed the bag, many of them jumped over it. A few kicked it. Meredith picked it up and tried to hand it to the recess monitor.
Before I go any further, please know that although her room is a complete disaster, Meredith is very sensitive to litter. Together, we’ve picked up quite a few discarded cups and cans out of parking lots. I stop short at the scraping up of dead birds, but it’s only because I never have a spatula handy, and I’m a big believer in the circle of life and whatnot. (I’m also a big believer in Avian Influenza, so the No Spatula thing is really more of a decision than an inconvenience. Don’t tell Meredith.)
I’m not sure what Meredith said as she tried to hand the bag over to the recess monitor, but I could hear the monitor’s yell through my closed car window. “Throw that down!”
Meredith said something else.
“No! Just let go of it!”
Meredith looked crushed as she put the bag back down onto the sidewalk—being “forced” to litter by an authority figure.
After Meredith entered the building, I got out of the car, picked up the bag, and walked it over to the trash can—the trash can that the recess monitor had to pass by in order to enter the building with the kindergarten kids.
Tonight I’ll be teaching Meredith about civil disobedience and the importance of doing the right thing—even at the cost of respectfully disobeying an authority figure.
Sometimes the mom thing is really hard.