Today we're supposed to write in that beautiful journal they gave us on Day 2. It seemed almost sinful to write on the crisp, clear pages -- which actually gave me the inspiration for a little something "negative" in my life that has actually helped me grow and develop.
My kids love to draw. That's not the negative I was talking about, of course; they can amuse themselved for hours on end putting their imaginations on paper. It's the paper that used to cause me grief. They use reams and reams of paper. Perfectly good printer paper. New paper. And don't even have the decency to draw on both sides!
I guess it's my upbringing. My siblings and I always had a pile of scratch paper that my mom brought home from the office, so we were always told to use it for drawing or writing. When I see my kids drawing on new printer paper, my inner child says Wasteful! Bad! And now there's a little green voice that adds, Eco-unfriendly! And until recently, I've been scolding my kids for it.
It took Alfie to help me put things in perspective -- for goodness sakes, it's $5 for 500 sheets of paper! That's 500 precious drawings that my kids can create. And the way they go into detail, it's almost 500 hours spent occupied doing something great. For all that, $5 is looking pretty darn cheap right now!
Of course, I still pay attention to that little green voice. I'm much better at putting paper into the scrap paper pile instead of the recycling bin so that the kids can use the other side. And I've been trying harder to encourage the kids to use that other side. But I no longer give them the evil eye when I catch them reaching into the printer for paper to draw on. Now I reach over and hand them a whole bunch with a smile.
Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe