To a parent, a child is a mirror, revealing everything.

Earth Day - Ancillary Benefits of a Recession

Aside from the gaping holes that appeared in our retirement accounts around October 2008, our family has (thus far) been fortunate to avoid much of the mayhem of the current economic crisis. That said, the pressure to “live leaner” and to carefully consider how we spend our time, money and other resources remains strong.

One ancillary positive effect of this pressure, which I’ve noticed over the past month or so, is that our family is producing about 40% less trash and recyclables per week than we did, say, six months ago. This is a reduction from about 13.4 cubic feet/week to about 8 cubic feet/week.

We’re certainly not eating less--in fact the kids keep growing and, if anything, appetites are increasing. I think it simply amounts to buying less crap that comes in packaging. Feels good. And you know what? I cannot, for the life of me, remember what that other 40% of stuff might have been--we don’t miss it.

Still seems like a lot of trash, though.

A Wise Boy

A few weeks ago, Max (now 5-1/2) was telling me and Rose about a classmate who was pushing him around on the playground. This is the first time we’d heard of it, and I think they were playing innocently enough--just one of those situations where Maxie was done playing and the other kid wasn’t yet.

So I said to Max, half joking, “Just push him back!”

Max promptly replied, as he raised his hands questioningly, “Well that won’t work, because I’ll push him, he’ll push me, I’ll push him again, and what will it solve?”


A few nights ago, driving home after a long, fun day with the grandparents, Max, out of the blue says, “Daddy, I don’t care about goals.”

I asked him what he meant, exactly.

“I mean, I don’t care if I’m trying to do something and somebody else does it first--like, before me--that’s OK with me. I just want to do it, then I’m happy.”

Quite a balanced perspective for a young one, if I may say.