Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Shopping Venues

My six-year-old Kirk has found the joys of garage sales and thrift stores where fifty cents can buy a new (to him) toy or two books and five dollars can garner a bike or a scooter. That's good as far as his ability to judge the buying power of money and the incredible difference between buying new and used. He's also sold on the environmental benefits of shopping the local church sale for his various wants and needs. Recently, he proudly brought home his Earth Day poster from school that proclaimed "BUY USED" with pictures of his various treasures.

But I worry when I see him become more interested in the entertainment value of shopping to the exclusion of other things. Last month we went to a museum and walked through an amazing display of dinosaur artifacts with Kirk asking every few minutes, "Can we go to the gift shop now?" (In full disclosure, I visited my dear friend Emelia in New Mexico a few years back. One day later I was talking about our visit to the Georgia O'Keefe museum. She said, "Eileen, don't you remember the museum was closed and we just visited the gift shop and bought some posters?"--oops!)

In an effort to help Kirk expand his entertainment horizons beyond shopping and the need to bring something home when we go on an outing, I've been making a list of nature activities and nature areas that we can visit this summer. Last weekend we biked to a duck marsh. Admittedly Kirk asked several times if we could get home so he could play a computer game on PBS kids, but mostly we enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine.

Hopefully by helping him find value in things that do not involve acquiring yet more material goods, I will reinforce this for myself...though maybe not until after I take a quick pass through that amazing subdivision sale next Saturday morning.....

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