My 12yo has a friend who lives in our neighbourhood, is in the same class, and they take the public transit together to and from school. The boys also take tennis lessons at a local clay court near their school together, and used to be on the same hockey team back in the day.
This friend is a very nice, quiet boy. I have heard him say a total of 5 words to me in the past however many years I’ve seen him in the ‘hood. I mentioned this to my son the other day and he fell off his chair from laughing so hard.
“He’s not quiet at all!” he giggled. “Yesterday I couldn’t get him to shut up at all!”
My 9yo has a similar story about a boy from her class last year, whom I’ve never heard say a single word. He just stand nearby and listens to everyone around him, and if an adult (me) approaches him to make a comment, he politely nods or shakes his head. He didn’t once utter a word. To me, that is.
My daughter in the meantime says “he’s crazy, he’s always yelling or making silly noises!”
Another boy, this time a hockey friend of my 12yo whom he’s known since they started playing together age age 5, whose family we’re close with as well, seems a very kind, polite quiet boy. He has accompanied us on a family day trip, has socialized with my 9yo, has been to communal parties, and he’s a very pleasant, nice boy.
According to my son, who affirms my observations but points out that I seem to be missing a whole other side of him, tells me this:
“Mom, kids are completely different when they’re away from their parents.”
Makes me wonder what MY kids are like away from me…
* * *
My daughter belongs to the eco club at her school. One function is to separate the garbage and compost items, with gloved hands or some tools. For whatever reason, the other day the kids were instructed to sort out the items tossed into the so-called litter-only-bin in order to educate their fellow students to recycle better. You know, candy wrappers are ok in that garbage, but a banana peel belongs in the green compost bin, and a yogurt container in the blue recycling bin.
That kind of thing.
At dinner last night she elaborated quite extensively about just how much food gets thrown out at school, and not even into the compost bin.
Makes my blood boil. She said: “Someone threw away a perfectly good orange, there was nothing wrong with it, it wasn’t even bruised. They threw it in the garbage, not the compost bin.”
So the parents, most parents, are going the extra mile to provide a healthy, nutritious lunch for the kids, obeying as much as is possible to maintain a litter-less lunch, and then….out goes the fruit.
She also said they found zip-lock baggies of items they couldn’t recognized anymore. Which tells me it’s food that went bad, and the mold made it unrecognizable.
So, so sad.
I’m glad she’s aware at that level. She’s pretty good at bringing home the uneaten food in her own lunch bag, and there’s always a complicated reason why she couldn’t finish her minuscule sandwich but had enough time to eat the cookie…
But at least she brings it home (where I make her eat it before she reaches for a new snack).
It’s a constant battle, isn’t it. At home, and in school. And food waste…all I can do is continue to practice the diligence we do and set the example.
Related: if you want to see some funny ugly fruits and veggies, consider following @UglyFruitAndVeg on Twitter.