Earth Day 2010 has come and gone, and the earth remains. Phew.

One of the pleasures of being a parent is school events FOR WHICH YOU DO NOT VOLUNTEER! The 40th anniversary of Earth Day at Barcroft Elementary included an extremely popular quote-unquote VOLCANO, which erupted over and over and over onto the blacktop. Whooee that blacktop must have been sticky the next day, all that diet coke and mento shrapnel. Not sure what this all had to do with Earth Day, but we hotfooted it outside each time an eruption was on the brink.

There were “stations” in the all-purpose room, manned by parents and teachers and other people who are not bothered by chaos and cacophany. We learned stuff, such as, uh, something to do with friction and a cd spinning on a table, and, uh, uh, oh I dunno. Ask a 4th grader. Little sponges, they are. Not like me, mind made of impenetrable concrete. We made food faces, don’t ask me why, although I was hungry so it worked out fine. Broad strokes, don’t you know. They get the drift – food, earth, friction, earth, reuse, reduce, recyle, earth, chaos and cacophany, earth. Connecting the dots is something kids seem to do without question. Big and little leaps, without stuntmen.

I have been hammering it into his head for almost 10 years now, and he seems to know on which side his bread is buttered. The mother side. If you are a mother, or have a mother, or have a mother figure (my figure becomes more motherlike every day…) you know about buttering her up. When the mom is happy, everyone is happy. The converse is something we never want to see…again. It is scary. I have seen the reflection of my unhappiness in my son’s eyes and it was super scary. He does know to be kind to his mother and to his mother earth. The latter’s wrath is immeasurable, and she does not bounce back at the drop of a simple little apology.

My dad had a whole lot to do with the first Earth Day and I like to brag on that. Funny to think of inventing a holiday and having it take hold so firmly, and become international. What is another word for amazing, something more accurate? Let me check the What-Is-Another-Word-For-Thesaurus. Those were some solid men, back in those days, Gaylord Nelson for one, my dad’s boss. Astonishing.



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