Monday, March 14, 2016

Have a Great Day!

As always I feel this post could go in 20 different directions.  I spent the last hour and a half emptying garbage bags from the dumpster behind my youngest son's school (with the help of his brothers) - and yes I have already showered (sorry TMI- but that smell ~ kinda sticks with you like peanut butter on the roof of a dogs mouth).

Who was missing from the dumpster diving fun? - the reason for the dumpster diving. My youngest - who doesn't like talking to adults - came home hours after lunch, only to tell us then, that he had accidentally thrown his retainer away with his lunch tray.

Had he told the teacher (and not his friends) - he could have gone down to the lunch room and rummaged through ONE bag of trash.
                         .........and had a great day!

So he calls dad first, telling him the grim news. Then he calls me (notice the order of those calls) - to which I answer "no problem, I'm on my way home to that you can go look for it".
I was met with a much less enthusiastic response. Unfortunately he flat out refused to look for his retainer - and some other less than appropriate behavior  which of course led him far away from the path of having......... a great day!

It wasn't until bag #4, after finding whole apples, sandwiches, cheese sticks and other home made items did I find this: 

This one made me rather sad. A carefully packed container of veggies and fruit with a message on top. I don't know if it came from home or if this was an option in the line. At this point I was standing in a stream of fat free chocolate milk and bits of mashed potatoes and breaded chicken were splattered down my gloves. The smell was really starting to get to me! After the last bag was dutifully picked - and all bags were resealed and tossed back into the dumpster (not without a few sideways glances from parents picking up their kids from after school activities). I'm sure they were admiring my off the shoulder bag dress and fetching blue gloves :)

So my take away's - besides my appetite:
  1. It's a choice - at multiple points in your day, starting with your attitude the second your eyes open - whether you will have a good, great, not so great or somewhere in between day.
  2. Give to give- even if your "have a great day veggie container" is not well received - I bet it made them feel good making it. Give to give - not based on the expectation of anything in return.
  3. Everything has a price - I offered my kids money to dumpster dive with me - and a handsome reward if the retainer was found. One boy opted out - and one refused from the beginning. However two did not shy away from the disdain of the task - they were in it for the money. And you know what - that's ok ! I think they would have done it for ice cream too - although not sure I could have stomached that.
  4. You can't force someone to do the right thing - this is the hardest lesson as a parent. Even with my adopted children who have zero genetic connection to me - yet see how hard we work and the moral compass we live by - some walk similar paths and some will stray far away from our path as they choose.
  5. Humor doesn't always lighten the mood - we reached the point when 'mom trying to be funny' just didn't work anymore. We had to accept that we were doing an unpleasant task and just work more efficiently to get done faster. 
  6. It's always better with a team - I didn't want to dig through trash alone, even though I would have. It did make me feel I had support and we got through those bags quicker with a team.

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