My sons have become garbage collectors. No, not that kind. They don’t get paid for their work, unfortunately. But they enjoy putting trash where it belongs. And one of their favorite books is this: When Big Brother was a baby I got him started on throwing away garbage if he found it where it doesn’t belong. In his world this meant the playground, library, hallway outside our apartment, etc. I want them to grow up to be responsible citizens and this is one aspect of that. We take care of our neighborhood.
However, this has grown beyond my control. We live in the middle of a city that is covered in garbage. It’s not a gross city, it just has a lot of garbage around in the curbs, corners of everywhere, and sidewalks. At the playground today Little Guy found a juice bottle and told me he wanted to throw it away. So we found a trash can and tossed it. There was filth all over the ground by the can and I was praying that he wouldn’t get the urge to pick it all up. Yuck! I mentioned before how I have found some shady things at the playground, so it makes me a little nervous when they pick up random things to throw away.
So I’m a little stuck. When walking through a parking lot Big Brother has stopped to pick up some sort of litter and I want so badly to say, “It’s okay, you can leave it there. What’s the point anyway? There’s so much garbage, that doesn’t really make a difference.” But you know what? It does make a difference. It makes a difference in my boys’ hearts. And in mine. They are learning to care about the world around them. And there have been times when I’ve told them not to pick up certain things because they really are too dirty/disease laden/soaked/muddy when inside my head I’m screaming, Oh my gosh! Get the heck away from that! But touching regular garbage is something I’m learning to be okay with. They can always wash their hands later.
Do your kids enjoy picking up trash?