Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Mama, is the earth dead?" "No dear, but it will be if you don't do something about it"

"Mama, is de earf dead?"

Lily asked me this this morning as I was pouring my first cup of coffee. Again, an invitation to teach, teach, teach.
"No, baby. It's very much alive. The oceans, the trees, all the animals, all alive."
"Can I draw de earf?"
Gulp, gulp. Why can't they invent that IV coffee drip, goddamn it?
"Can I have my big hard ball?"
I get down the schoolroom-sized globe that I pulled out of someone's trash last year and we look at it together. I point out the continents, trying to explain in four-year-oldease the difference between a country, a state, a town...not easy.
I switch to something easier: conservation.

We had the sad Indian guy who cried on the trash heap, and Lily has Al Gore. She is much better off. I wonder at which point it will be appropriate to screen An Inconvenient Truth. Maybe next year.

"See all that blue?"
"Well, that's water. That's the ocean. We need to keep it blue for all the fish."
"We need to take care of the earth, because it is beautiful and we want it to be here for a long time."
"Okay." Pause. "Can I have a pink clip-on hairpiece like Stella?"
"Um, ok, well maybe Santa will bring you that."
"No, I want a purple one. Blue."

End of lesson.

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