On Saturday Ellie and I cleaned up trash near the top of Mount Diablo as part of the Mormon Helping Hands project. The rest of the family was scattered to the winds with other activities, and I admit I was tempted to stay home and maybe snuggle and watch Pokemon with Ellie, but I decided "service is important," so we went and I am so glad we did.
You know how you never know which lessons are actually going to teach your children something? Well, this one seemed to particularly take with Ellie. When we got up the mountain (after a very long and twisty drive with Dayna and her girls) it was super windy and cold. The ranger was talking about hacking brush off of the trail and I was thinking "how can I get Dayna to turn around and take us home right now because Ellie is going to hate this and I don't want to deal with her?"
Such are my tiger mom skills.
But I knew Super Dayna wasn't going anywhere...so. Then the ranger said if we weren't prepared to work with a pick ax we could collect trash. He gave Ellie a reacher thingie, and me a bag and off we went.
And boy, oh boy did we collect trash. Ellie was a machine I tell you what! Most of the trash was sneakily hiding where it had been blown into these large low thickets. I am too big to crawl in there, but Ellie just went for it-crawling on her stomach at some points to get tiny bits of paper and stuff like bottle caps.
The best part was to see how proud she was of herself for taking care of the earth. She mostly gets that from school assemblies, but let's pretend it's because Marc and I taught her.
At one point she stopped me and pointed out the wind blowing the long grasses up the hill from us and commented on how it looked like a silver ocean. Then she said it was like the grass and trees and even the earth was singing.
I felt so glad we were there to experience it together. After an hour or so we snuggled up in a little grove of trees that worked like a wind break and just watched the grass sway.