I was running an errand at a local retail outlet and I had decided to bring Nathan along for the ride. He can be a bit tedious upon his arrival from school, antagonizing his 2-year old brother and usually causing friction within the household with his energy levels. By bringing him with me, I hoped to mitigate that a bit. At least until supper could be served and the boys would be seated with food for a time. So, we took off for the store to pick up a couple of things.
The ride was pretty uneventful and Nathan wasn’t chatty besides asking me to turn on some music, which I gladly obliged. We parked in our usual spot against the outer edge of the parking lot, which faces a large, open field. Once we were completely parked, Nathan commented on the fact that there was some trash in the snow at the edge of the parking lot. I acknowledged what he was seeing and he asked me why people throw trash on the ground instead of in the garbage receptacles. Not wanting to imply that every situation is something negative, I suggested that the high winds we have in Saskatchewan may have been the culprit as it could have blown stray refuse across the field to get stuck in the snow.
Once we were out of the car, he told me that some people are bad and throw trash on the ground. he went on to explain that we need to take care of the planet and that trash shouldn’t be on the ground. I watched with a mixture of pride and awe as my 7-year old son, who can barely manage to perform even the simplest of chores without complaining, wandered the snow and grabbed his fill of stray cans, bottles and trash. His arms full, he looked at me and said, “Okay, let’s go!” I watched as we walked towards the entrance of the building and he dumped all the refuse he had collected into a garbage can.
I congratulated him on doing something good and I couldn’t keep the surprise out of my voice. My compliment earned me a look of disdain as Nathan boldly informed me that I could have picked up an armful of refuse as well. Little bastard. Nothing worse than complimenting someone, only to have them throw it in your face. In any event, I’m not sure if he learned this behaviour from school or if another source planted the idea in his head. I was mildly ashamed of the fact that I’ve never really discussed the environment with him, but I was happy with the perspective he held. We should all be that enlightened. ☯️