Monday, August 30, 2010
The Dump Truck
We were lingering our local Target store for nearly an hour before ending up in the rows of toys. We had looked at music, books, some clothing, and a few other miscellaneous things before resorting to the toys. You see, Caleb had received a gift card to Target from one of his little friends for his birthday. The gift card was burning a hole in his pocket. Unlike me, when my youngest gets a gift card, he wants to spend it. He does not want to wait until there's something that he's just DYING to have... He wants to spend it NOW!
So painstakingly, we shopped. It was just daddy, Caleb and myself hunting for the pot of gold hidden somewhere within the walls of Target. After cruising the Legos, the action figures, and the board games, we stumbled upon the aisle with the cars, mini skateboards and Tonka trucks. Knowing that Caleb LOVES to take things apart and build things, I saw this box of mini skateboards with all of their mini accessories, parts, decorative stickers, etc.. I thought, "Wow... THIS has got to be the perfect thing. Surely our search will be over now!" I turned around to show Caleb and I saw the sweetest thing. I stopped dead in my tracks. Every bit of my anxiety over being in this store searching for the impossible came to a screeching halt.
My nine year old boy was on his knees taking a big ol' Tonka dump truck off the shelves. He was tinkering with the truck, learning about it's bells and whistles. What he learned was that it didn't have many bells and whistles. It didn't have any batteries. It was a plain and simple truck that had a back end to fill up with boy "stuff" (be it dirt, rocks or whatever) and then dump. J and I both saw him and our hearts just melted. On the front of the box it had the big number 3 in red. This was the age recommendation. Caleb soon saw it and his words took our melted hearts and broke them.
"I think I'm too big for this, but it sure is cool, huh?"
We explained to him that it was a SUPER cool truck. We told him that he actually received 2 Tonka trucks for his 2nd birthday and that he used to play with them all the time. We reminded him that we still had the trucks in our storage area under the house. We had put them there for safe keeping when we noticed that he had stopped playing with them as much. His eyes got big as he remembered, and he paused.
"Dad, do you think I could get something else with my card, but we could go home and wash my trucks and take them outside to play with again tomorrow?"
I don't know who was more excited... Caleb or my hubby. Right there in the middle of Target's toy aisle we explained to Caleb that there are some things that you never get too old for. We told him of the importance of always doing what you love to do (as long as it's something positive, and not negative, of course). J and I shared a moment with our son that we will never forget. It was a teaching moment... for all of us. Caleb taught us the importance of being true to yourself, no matter what others think. He was worried that his big brothers would think that he was a baby for wanting to play with Tonka trucks again. We tried to ease his mind about that, and in the end, it worked.
Not only did he pridefully pull the trucks out the next day and plop himself (along with his daddy) right into a big pile of red dirt, but his brothers were drawn to be out there with him. They respectfully allowed him his own "Daddy time" for awhile, but they lurked and then joined in later. Yes... my 13 year old, almost 11 year old, 9 year old and 37 year old boys were outside playing with trucks in the dirt, and what a sight that was to see.
Our hearts are only as old as our minds let them be.
I will have to thank the little boy who gifted Caleb with the Target gift card. He not only gifted Caleb... He gifted the hearts of our entire family.