Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig Again with themes. Maybe it's just me, but I'm still seeing connections all over the place.
This week the topic is Earth and I've no idea why. I don't think children are studying it at school. It's not something we've discussed much at home, but tell me if you don't see a pattern here.
It first caught my attention when 6-year-old Nikki brought home a worksheet she completed at school. The assignment was to cut out several pictures and glue them under the headings "living" and "non-living."
Under non-living, she pasted crayons, a desk, a truck, a teddy bear and a chair.
So far, so good.
Under living, she put a plant, a ladybug, a hamster, a boy and a picture of the Earth.
There were no check marks to indicate that her choices were wrong, leaving me to wonder if this was a non-graded project or if it was OK for her to think of the Earth as a living thing.
I really hope it was the latter.
I'm not sure of her reasoning, whether it was an accident or purposeful. I plan to ask. I would really like to hear what her answer is. Then again, I also don't want her re-thinking the concept, either. I'm OK if that was just her knee-jerk reaction.
I was surprised when 7-year-old Katie brought up the same topic, in a different way, just a week later.
"Oh, I just wish we could pick that up," she said wistfully as we were driving down Thompson Hill.
I had no idea what she was talking about.
"Pick what up?" I asked absently.
"All that trash," she said pointing.
I was stunned. This is a girl who went without playing and after-dinner snacks for a week because she wouldn't clean her room.
"The Earth doesn't like dirty stuff. It likes clean stuff," she explained.
I agree completely, but that she knew?
I asked how she knew.
"I don't know. I just know."
Ah, the logic of a 7-year-old.
Being the supportive parent I can occasionally be, I told Katie that when we returned from vacation, we could spend some time picking up trash.
I swear, that elicited more excitement than the actual vacation did.
"Really! Yes! Then we can get some fish."
I didn't get the connection and I didn't ask. Organizing two small children into a viable clean-up crew is enough for me. It's more than I can handle to do that while planning dinner, brandishing fishing poles or selecting the right food for goldfish.
If, in fact, she meant any of those things.
I love that my children are looking at, and learning to care about the world around them. It did not escape my notice that their interest blossomed just days before Earth Day.
Maybe that's the connection.
Or, maybe that's just the people they're growing to be.
So, I'll gather my girls, and as a family, we'll park the car, drag out trash bags and spend a day enjoying the sun, the outdoors and each other.
And, we'll do it not just for ourselves, but for the Earth.
She deserves it.
Anyone else wanna come play?