Following up my Pinterest craft post isn’t going to be easy but this was fun and educational. During the morning walk we often negotiate how many sticks, shells and bugs can come home. Today on our morning walk, we brought a small basket and collected things we found on the ground. I don’t let Orly pick anything living, and asked her not to put trash in the basket today. I taped two pieces of brown paper together, cut out a piece of cardboard (from a box) and we glued the flowers, stems, succulents, and other items to it. The arts and crafts project including the walk filled the entire morning but also sparked a question about earth, and earth day.
I love the tough questions. I think that acknowledging and making room for these questions is one of the most important parts of parenthood. Dr. Suess answers why earth day is so important in his book, “The Lorax”. If you haven’t read that book, I recommend it. The story talks about a group that finds a resource and then uses that resource up and the consequences. Earth day is April 22nd every year, the largest secular observance, and focuses on finding ways to protect the earth.
How do I talk about this with my child the answer is always honestly IMO. We can talk about upsetting things with our child in an age appropriate way – ALWAYS. So today I told Orly the truth, we have Earth Day because for many years people haven’t taken care of the earth in a sustainable way. That we take more than we need, make decisions that aren’t necessarily best but make money, and Earth Day is a special day to remember that we as people can make a difference. I asked her what she wanted to do to thank and respect the earth, that answer for her centers around trash, not littering and picking up other peoples.
The observance of earth time started during Vietnam. This was a time when our country was deeply divided. Everything was fragile and as the economy came back so did the environmental impacts. I think its safe to say things are fragile now, and that we have things that divide us. I hope that earth day is an opportunity to share how decisions have pros and cons from how long we shelter in place to if we drive versus walk. When we share our truth, kids learn how to make better more informed decisions.