Earth Day 2010

I really love the children in my room at work (school age). Especially on days like these.

The kids did not have school this year on Earth Day, so as a special treat, we all walked to the local movie theater and saw How to Train your Dragon. Before we left the center, one of the girls was talking to me about what Earth Day means and what you are supposed to do on that day. I told her, goofing around, that on Earth Day, you were supposed to hug every tree you saw, to show your appreciation to it.

As we were walking to the theater, that same little girl ran up to the first tree we saw and gave it a great big hug while saying, “Greetings to you! Happy Earth Day!” It was so cute that I could not bring myself to yell at her for getting out of line.

She quickly got back in line, but had apparently read my silence as permission to continue doing what she was doing. Every tree or bush large enough for her to hug she would run right up to and greet with much enthusiasm.

As we neared Main Street and the trees were surrounded by concrete and sometimes trash, her words to the trees got even cuter. To one she said, “I’m sorry you’re right next to a garbage can, but I’m happy you’re alive!” To another she said, “I can’t believe someone littered right next to you. They should be ashamed of themselves!”

Now this is funny in its own right, but this coming out of the mouth of an eight year old was just too much. I could not help myself but to let her hug every tree on our way to the theater and every tree on the other side of the street as we walked back to the center.

Maybe if we could all take the time to show our appreciation and not care if we looked silly while doing it, all our trees would look a little happier. As she had said, “That tree looks sad. He needs a hug and then he’ll feel better and look better!”

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