In July 2 IssueBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
The back door flew open and I waited…
Then came the sound of tiny feet pounding on the floor, followed by my daughter, Kate, whose face was frozen in a tortured, silent mask.
"BWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" she screamed.
Her brother Drake stomped (literally) into the kitchen with his arms folded angrily across his chest.
"What's wrong with you two?" I asked.
"They're killing the earth!" Kate cried.
"Stupid, dumb bulldozers!" Drake said.
An exasperated Wifey limped along with the oblivious, younger child resting on her hip.
"Bad timing," she said.
From what I could gather amongst the tears, screams and stomps, they were driving down the road, listening to Michael Jackson's "Earth Song," when the kids spotted a bulldozer literally knocking down trees and ripping through the ground while a brush pile was burning nearby.
"It's gone, all gone!" Kate shouted.
"WHAT'S gone?" I asked.
"The earth, the earth!" she sniffled. "They're killing the earth!"
"I'd like to take a bulldozer, and…and…bulldoze that other, stupid dumb bulldozer," Drake huffed.
"You mean like, take a really big bulldozer and run over the other bulldozer? I queried.
"YEAH!" Drake said. "That's exactly what I'd like to do."
I tried to explain that sometimes people need to tear or cut down trees, or push dirt around so they can do things like build houses.
"But there's enough houses already!" Kate protested. "Haven't you listened to that song? What about flowers and fields?"
I was perplexed because I had no idea there was a couple of tiny, environmental activists in our home.
"Wait," Drake said, "I have an idea. When it gets dark, we'll go up there and put all those trees and dirt back."
"Nah," I said, shaking my head, "I don't think we can do that."
"But we HAVE to do something to save the earth!" Kate pleaded.
"Hey!" Drake said. "I have another outstanding (he actually used that word) idea. Let's go pick up trash. That's a way to save the earth.
Kate smiled for the first time since bursting through the door in tears.
Drake and Kate grabbed handfuls of plastic shopping bags and suggested we go across the street to the playground at Jamestown Elementary.
After arriving at the playground, the kids immediately started picking up every piece of paper, empty can, candy wrapper-whatever they could find.
A few minutes later, Kate wiped non-existence sweat from her forehead, and Drake proclaimed the playground was now "clean as a whistle." (He then tried to whistle, but couldn't because he doesn't know how yet.)
Feeling proud of themselves (and heck, I was proud of them, too), they stuffed their little bags of trash into a large trash can.
Drake wiped his hands clean, and Kate stood in a "Statue of Liberty pose."
"See, daddy," she said, "see how easy it is to save the earth?"
If only it was, if only it was…