“Open, Open!!” This is what Matty shouts each week when he waits for the All Waste Garbage Truck to come and take our trash away. He wants the tops of the cans to be left open by the arm of the truck. I don’t know why – it’s one of his “things”. You can hear him shouting with great excitement, “Open! Open on the grass!” as if he were routing for his favorite football team. Nope, it’s not football, it’s a garbage can.
(Here is a 6 second video so you can truly appreciate his excitement - with his happy hops!)
Even when he holds the iPad to watch garbage truck videos on YouTube with his headphones on, we hear him yelling “OPEN, OPEN!” to the trucks in the videos. (Yes, people do post 15 minute-long videos of garbage trucks picking up garbage cans, and for this I am extremely grateful).
Occasionally, he earns the prize of following the garbage truck on what we call a “garbage car ride” (after great behavior reports from school for a week).
Sometimes, this makes make me feel like I am missing out – other parents are enjoying shared interests with their children. They are laughing together at the movie theater or enjoying a sporting event together. On rainy weekend afternoons, they are relaxing at home putting a jigsaw puzzle together or playing XBOX. Not us. Greg and I are taking turns driving around looking for the garbage truck with Matty.
“Just for me, Mommy, he left it open just for me?” I hear Matty ask from the backseat as I drive behind the garbage truck – all the drivers know Matty by name and wave at him when they turn around in cul-de-sacs. He is practically hanging out my car window greeting the truck drivers.
“Yes, Matty, he did leave it open just for you.” I respond. Really, it’s just the force of how quickly the can is dropped, I think, but I can’t tell him that!
“I guess he is in an open mood, Mommy.” Matty is a great conversationalist.
|This truck is doing it right by Matty's standards - putting this can down with the top OPEN.|
Somehow, Matty’s pure excitement for finding and watching the garbage truck has rubbed off on me. No, I am not watching youTube videos about garbage in my spare time or yelling “OPEN”. But his excitement has helped me to see things differently.
Being Matthew’s mom has opened my mind to a whole new way of thinking. In my PPL (Pre-Parenting Life), I had such a narrow view of how the world works. Going through life now, with Matty by my side, my eyes have been opened to new ways of thinking, teaching and understanding the world each day.
The recycling truck driver who drives the garbage route in our neighborhood clearly understands how important open cans are to Matty. He will lift our cans extra times, give them an “extra shake” till the can is deposited on the ground with the top open. Yup, just for Matty.
So, Matty, thank you for opening my heart, my thoughts and my mind.