Loving the Earth

In honor of Earth Day, I decided not to complain about the snow that started falling just before noon. Even when the itty bitty flakes that barely left a mark, turned into larger flakes that stuck. To the ground and the car, the shrubs and the trees. I mean, it’s just so boring to have three days of nice weather. In a row.

‘Should we go to Starbucks?’ I suggested to Mr. G when I picked him up from preschool. He paused thoughtfully and concurred, after a while, that it would be a suitable after-school activity. Of course I’d neglected to bring along a travel mug, which means I didn’t get a free cup of coffee from them in honor of Earth Day. Which was my reason for going in the first place.

Instead I got a vile latte. Why Starbucks, why can’t you produce ‘espresso’ drinks that actually taste of espresso?

Before we went in, G and I had a discussion about what he could order. ‘I want a chocolate milk,’ he announced. Well, since it was snowing I thought a hot chocolate would be a better choice – and also since the chocolate milk (for some reason) costs about $1 more than the hot chocolate…..I ‘suggested’ he get the hot chocolate.

But, naturally, once we got there he ignored my sage instructions and picked up a chocolate milk. I was in no mood to argue with him right in front of a bunch of strangers, so I let it go. And ordered myself the vile latte and a hot chocolate for the Hen.

We sat down at a table to drink our beverages, partly because I couldn’t carry a child and 3 beverages out to the car, and partly because it would kill a good twenty minutes of potential late afternoon meltdown time. ‘This milk tastes a little weird,’ G announced. I didn’t think anything of it, since he’s always commenting on the way things taste or smell these days.

Two minutes later he announced that he was ‘done’ and pushed the (obviously full) carton to the middle of the table. That’s when I noticed the carton contained plain, white, 1% milk. Not chocolate milk. I didn’t draw his attention to this fact, since I was not going to buy him another drink. I suppressed a little smile – on the inside – as he stared longingly at his brother.

Who was sitting on my lap drinking his hot chocolate through a straw. It might just be my imagination, but the moment Henners sensed he was being watched; that his beverage was being coveted by another, his drinking slowed down dramatically. He held the cup, just so, and sipped from the straw as if he had all the time in the world. Avoiding eye contact with his older sibling, who was leaning all the way across the table at this point.

‘Do you want to try some of my chocolate (not!) milk,’ G asked his baby brother, in hopes of ‘making a trade’. The Hen set his cup down for a second and tasted the milk. He pushed it back to his brother. And turned his attention back to his hot chocolate.

About halfway through he tired of the beverage – they’d made a ‘tall’ instead of a ‘short’ – and set it down on the table. He popped his pacifier back in his mouth, signaling he was DONE.

‘Can I have the rest of his hot chocolate,’ G pounced before the little one could change his mind.


The man of the house celebrated Earth Day a little differently. I’d gone to the basement to transfer a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. I noticed a heavy sodden package of some sort, lying among the wet clothes.

A travel pack of Kleenex belonging to you-know-who.

I put the clothes in the dryer and walked upstairs to the office where the professor was working diligently. The same professor who, in the past couple of weeks has given me several free lectures on ‘not wasting’ things – like leftover food or red peppers.

I tossed him the package and ‘suggested’ he unfurl every sodden piece of tissue, allow it to dry. And reuse it.

Which, smart man that he is, he did, seeing that he is a vocal conservationist and all. Although he admitted using the newly dried Kleenex ‘is not a pleasant experience.’ 


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