My name is Sarah and to the outside world I’m a writer, editor, sub-editor and general wordy person. At home, though, I’m mom to two young daughters – Rebecca, a worldly wise seven year old, and Ruby, a four-year-old sprite with a quicksilver wit and infectious chuckle. They exhaust, amuse, surprise and, more often than I would have dreamed, humble me with their insights into the world.
In honour of Earth Day, I’d like to share a story that I’ve been sitting on for a while, waiting for the right moment. It’s called Saving Day.
A few months ago, as I was saying goodnight to her Rebecca announced that the next day, a Friday, would be A Saving Day. ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘and what is Saving Day about?’
‘Well,’ she said, ‘it’s about saving electricity, and litter and caring for the earth and sharks.’ And she asked whether she could do a presentation during supper. Of course I agreed.
The following day dawned and, apart from insisting that we turn off the fan, all talk of Saving Day seem to have gone. ‘Ah well,’ I thought.
But that night, after supper and between pudding, Rebecca looked at me meaningfully and said, ‘Mom, have you forgotten something?’ She got her toy microphone and proceeded to give us a lecture about Saving Day. We were asked questions – ‘Now, if you are walking along a river and you see a plastic bag in the water, do you a) pick it up or b) ignore it?’ Our hands all shot into the air. After the educational Q&A, she requested a blue table cloth, which she draped on the floor, and asked for a volunteer. Ruby was the lucky one. ‘Now, Ruby,’ said Rebecca, ‘pretend you are walking along the river.’ And Ruby had to enact strolling along a river bank, being shocked at the sight of a plastic bag (gasp! horror!) and picking it up and throwing it away. After Ruby’s award-winning performance, Rebecca thanked us for a our time, ended with a little song and a resolution to make every day Saving Day. And even now, months later, if we see some litter in the street or drive past street lights that are on during the day, both girls will shake their heads and say, ‘Mom, they don’t know about Saving Day. We should really tell them.’
So, here’s to making every day Saving Day.