My seven year-old daughter Allie was standing in front of me on a beach in Belize, a bucket in her hands. Tears were streaming down her face.
"What about the turtles mommy? And the birds? They are all going to die!"
Instead of spending the morning collecting sea shells, my daughters and I were picking up plastic. Items of every description, including bottle caps, endless water bottles, disinfectant containers, syringes, toothbrushes, you name it, littered the shoreline.
"This is so sad," my older daughter Katie, age 9 said.
"The water is so dirty and this is such a beautiful place."
When I chose to bring my kids to Belize for our spring vacation it wasn't with the intention of putting them on the front lines of an environmental disaster. I'd hoped we'd learn about Mayan culture, see some wildlife, snorkel with sea turtles and dolphins, maybe practice our Spanish.
Instead, I found myself facing a "teachable moment" so poignant and sad I was tempted to turn away from it. The maternal urge to protect my kids, so we could "just enjoy our vacation," was tempting.
But what message would I be sending my kids if I were to wear my "Spiritual G