Trash Day

There are people you expect to hold great influence over your children: grandparents, siblings, carefully chosen caregivers, kindergarten teachers.

And then there are those you don’t see coming. People whose very existence makes your child’s world a better place, who send your small boy into an actual quiver of excitement and nearly unbearable anticipation the minute they drive into view.

People like your local sanitation truck driver.

We hear the rumble of the truck and drop everything, scrambling outside as the dog circles maniacally around us. Missing this would be bad. Really bad.

And then, we wait.

Big truck come, he says. Pick trash up. 

Yes, I tell him. He’s coming.

Guy in ‘dere. 

Yes, sweet boy. There’s a guy in there. 

And still, we wait.

‘Dere is, Mama!

When the truck comes around the corner we stand up and I hold him. His whole body is tense with excitement. His fair brows furrow. He does not smile but neither does he shy away as the giant metal monster nears.

As promised, the guy in the big truck comes. He waves at us from his high station. Sometimes he honks. We watch the enormous robot claw arm hug the trash can, lift it over the open bed of the truck and dump in a week’s worth of life’s excess: dirty diapers, fruit snacks wrappers, lollipop sticks, paper towels soaked in spilled milk, tissues wet with tears and snot.

Truck and driver disappear around the corner, knowing not how important they are to us, how much we talk about them, how happy they make one little blonde boy and his mama.

And then it’s over. Until Recycling Day.

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10 Responses to Trash Day

  1. Steph January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    This sounds like EXACTLY what happens at our home 2x/week!!!!

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      I know. It’s kind of a universally understood ritual, right? I hope we don’t forget these little moments/obsessions as they move on to other interests… :)

  2. bethwand January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    We actually followed the recycle guy around our neighborhood one day…

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      I have definitely pulled over and let the kids watch one of the trucks do a whole street before. :) Love it.

  3. Bryan Powers January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    I love this post, though you did forget to mention that today’s load carried an extra 60 lbs of sand courtesy of our cat discovering the lid left off what must have looked like an enormous litter box.

  4. Petra January 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    This also apparently affects grandparents. My sister’s kids were exactly like Reid, so when K was about 3 months old and the rumble was heard, my mom leapt up from the couch, nearly spiller coffee on herself, and screamed “garbage man!” K kept staring at a frog on his gym thing, my mom laughed at herself, and sat back down shaking her head.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      Oh my gosh, I love that story, P! Once you’ve missed the truck and had to console a heartbroken little one, you learn to JUMP when you hear it! :)

  5. Aja Appel January 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    You are such an amazing writer. I absolutely love reading your blog. Your ability to describe day-to-day life in a way that reveals the true beauty and power of simple moments is admirable. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      Thank you! Thanks for reading! :)

  6. Amy September 21, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Hopped over from Happiest Home. This post brought back memories of my little guys who are now both in elementary school. I now know the names of nearly every type of construction equipment because of my oldest. So sweet, the simple things that thrill them.

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