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Good Mommy, Bad Environmentalist

So I did something today that I’m
not necessarily proud of, and as I sent off an email to my dad
filling him in it occurred to me that I might not be the only one
who does this sort of thing.

We’re heading out tomorrow for the Lone Star State, embarking
on our annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage. I’ve been organizing
and making lists and packing for the last two weeks trying to get
this behemoth of a show on the road, but you know how it is with
kids; 90% of the stuff can’t be packed until you’re
about to walk out the door, so often do you use it all.

This means that my last free evening has
been a frenzy of packing and sorting stuff, and that included
pulling together Maddie’s travel library. Honestly,
I’ve got probably twenty pounds in books and when Maddie
discovered what I was doing she tried to add another twenty to the
pile. One has to draw the line somewhere, though, and so books she
hasn’t read in six months are staying home.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one of her favorites –
Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever – and I realized
as I searched frantically under couches that it had been left at
the doctor’s office earlier this week. Oh well, I reasoned,
and made a note to call the doctor’s office in the morning
and ask them to hold it until we get back. Then I saw the look on
kiddo’s face when she realized she wouldn’t be reading
it to Nana.

Not committing to anything, I headed to the computer to see how
much a replacement would cost at Amazon. The grand total? $3.99.
What can I say; I turned on Amazon Prime and had that thing ordered
before my butt had even hit the chair. Come on. Replacement book?
Four bucks. Free shipping and a happy child? Priceless.

But the guilt is setting in over what I did. Not about indulging
Maddie – she’d never whine so much I’d buy
something for her, and she accepts disappointments pretty well. No,
I feel guilty over all the wasteful packaging materials that will
come with the book, and the massive, gas-guzzling truck that will
drive the puny little book to my dad’s house in Texas for me.
I try to shop conscientiously, and as much as I use the Internet to
save running-around time, I avoid these little purchases if
there’s a friendlier alternative.

Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t canceled the
order, just said a silent “sorry” and vowed to make
sure the box the book comes in is recycled. Because as much as I
love having Maddie read that book to me, exponentially more do I
love having Maddie read that book to someone else. Give Madeleine
that book and a captive, virgin audience, and she’s set for a
good half-hour.

Some things, money can't buy. But apparently, four bucks will get
me thirty minutes and a droopy conscience. Apparently, I can live
with that.


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