For our kids, the best part of summer (aside from vacation) is all of the fairs, festivals and parades.
We went to THE parade of the summer recently and our kids were blessed with enough candy to rot the mouths of at least 9 other kids. At this parade, they toss out not only candy, but popsicles, water bottles, pens, pencils… it’s ridiculous.
Trash – wrappers, papers, and bottles – despite a recycling bin sitting no more than 10 feet behind us. It looked this way up and down the entire street. It made me sad and very ashamed.
Afterward, my friend, Lynn, and I commiserated. “What are parents teaching their children?” Or moreover, “What AREN’T parents teaching their children?” My mother-in-law justified it by saying “well, they always send the street sweeper through, so it will get cleaned up” but that’s not okay with me. There just isn’t a good enough excuse for making the ground your garbage can.
Our kids overindulged that day. It was a candy fiesta, to say the least, but every single time they unwrapped another treat, I got a “Here, Mommy!” and they handed me the wrapper, because they knew that the ground was no place for the waste.
I wish everyone would embrace that. I wish every parent would teach their children that a little extra effort is worth it. Please, teach your children to love their earth, their city, their town, their block…
That lesson will last their lifetime.