22 May 2009

It pays to recycle

Two incidents this week reminded me just how little children need to be happy.

Gabriel's school folder wore out a few weeks ago; it tore down the center. This bothered him a lot, and I told him I would get him a new one.

But of course, it slipped my mind whenever I was out running errands.

On Tuesday when he got home from school he mentioned again that he needed a new folder, and feeling slightly sheepish that I had not taken care of this simple chore, I began rifling through my office supplies, and sure enough, I found a folder. It was blue, not pink or purple, and from a conference that I attended long ago. It had a label on the front with my name on it. I peeled this off as best I could, but it was obvious that I'd torn something off. I felt certain that Gabriel would notice this and complain, and was prepared to tell him it was a temporary folder, to hold him over until I got to the store.

To my surprise and delight, he was thrilled with this new folder. His face lit up when I gave it to him, and he thanked me profusely, and often, throughout the rest of the day. When David came home from work, the first thing he told him was, "Daddy, I got a new folder!"

But his excitement didn't end there. For the rest of the week, he lovingly tended this (old) new folder, taking me on regular guided tours to orient me to "home" side, and the "school" side. And every day, for the rest of week, when David arrived home from work, he asked him if he'd seen his new folder, and proceeded to explain its features again.


I have two rules regarding dressing for school: no sweatpants, and no ripped pants. I'm sure as my children get older, and Sarah begins to push the sartorial envelope, I may have to make up some new rules regarding appropriate school attire, but for now, it's relatively simple.

Sarah has a few pairs of jeans with blown out knees that I've replaced, but every once in a while she breaks a pair out on a school day to test the waters. I don't know if it's just to push my buttons, or she's very attached to these jeans, but she's had a hard time parting with them.

As the weather has finally warmed in New Jersey, the kids have been turning to shorts more often. (What is it about shorts that make kids so happy? Have you noticed that many boys would wear them all winter long if they could get away with it?) This morning she asked me if we could cut a few of her ripped jeans into shorts. I regrettably do not know how to sew, but this task was within my skill set, so I broke out the sewing scissors, and voila; Sarah had two pairs of long denim shorts, very au courant.

She tried them on, did a little dance of joy, and told me she was wearing them today. She then spent the morning sashaying around the house in her cute new pants, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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