I took Gabrielle to a city yesterday. Well, okay, not a city city — we don’t have those in New Hampshire — but we went to a place that has parking meters and a “downtown” shopping area. This was new and exciting stuff.
“You have to pay to park here?” Gabby was incredulous.
Store after store, she skipped along happily beside me on the sidewalk. We stopped in a school supply store to check out the end of the year deals and Gabrielle worked her charms on the young woman behind the cash register. She got a free jelly bracelet out of the deal.
When we left that store, she fiddled with the bracelet on her wrist, tore off its tag, and threw it over her shoulder onto the sidewalk.
“Gabby!” I scolded. “That’s littering! Never throw your garbage on the sidewalk.”
I held out my hand for the trash and obediently, she stooped to pick it up. But that wasn’t all she picked up. She plunked into my hand not only the tag from the bracelet, but also … a cigarette butt she had found on the sidewalk beside it.
The girl was really calling my anti-littering bluff. What to do? I couldn’t very well just toss the cigarette butt back onto the sidewalk. Thanks to Gabby, it was now in my hand. It was now my problem.
“Thank you,” I smiled at her sweetly as I tucked the tag and some unknown person’s totally disgusting cigarette butt into my bag.
I don’t want to hear another word about how I am killing the planet by doing 3 loads of laundry every day of my life. I have now officially done my part. And then some.