Maddie and Izzie were in the front yard helping me weed the front flower bed. It has been very, very neglected. I had a set of mini shovels and they were digging here and there. That soon lost their interest and the found some empty flowerpots and started cooking. In went some rocks, sticks, seed pods and other garden treasures. A big stick became the spoon. Then Izzie asks me if she can pull some leaves off a bush. "Mom," she says, "we need some cilantro in our soup!"
A bit later Maddie found a rock that glittered when you moved it in the sunlight. She was so excited she found some pirate treasure. She ran inside and gave it to Daddy as a very special gift.
Then it was about time to clean up. John came outside to help pick up the weeds and some paper trash that had floated up to our porch. Izzie picked up a piece of paper and started tearing it in bits and dropping them on the ground. I told her to stop littering. (After I said it, I wish I had been more gentle and asked her a different way to think about what she was doing, because they both know that littering is a very disrespectful thing to do.) She got so upset she ran over to the oak tree in our front yard, wrapped her arms around it and gave it a big hug. She said she was sorry to the planet. It was a very sweet crunchy-momma sort of moment.