Well look at John. He is holding a book. It is called, The Mighty Street Sweeper. John first saw this book the other day when I gave this book to the actual street sweeper on our street. I flagged him down and asked him to wait while I went inside to get a present for him. He looked at me rather quizzically and obliged.
The back story is this...
When Emmett and Carmen were about 2 and 3, we loved watching the street sweeper come by. We would run out on the lawn and wave to him as he so slowly and carefully made his way next to the curb in front of our house. We had plenty of time to wave to the street sweeper, of course, since he goes so slow! We also loved waving to the garbage truck every week. They were always very kind by waving back and honking their loud horn and giving a smile or two.
A few years ago, the children and I checked out, The Mighty Street Sweeper, at the library and I read it to them. I explained to them that the message of the book is that everyone's job is important. The street sweeper, for example, may not be the most impressive, fastest or exciting of all the trucks and work vehicles, but it still has an important job. It is quite an adorable book. The children enjoyed it so much that I thought, "Hey, let's buy this for the street sweeper and give it to him next time he comes by." They loved the idea.
We just didn't know it would be about 2 more years until we actually gave it to him! I ordered the book on Amazon and it shipped all the way from the UK. It was a used copy with a page detached from the binding. Nothing a little take couldn't fix. So I put the package in a safe place and forgot about it...just as I do with a lot of things I put in safe places in my house...I completely forget about whatever it was that was so important that needed safe keeping.
So fast forward to present day. This was the time! I pulled into the driveway upon returning from taking my teenager to school, opened the door to the van and I heard the familiar sound. The mighty street sweeper was making his way up our street! I remembered the book. I had to act fast. Well, not that fast because the street sweeper goes really slow. We made a good team that day, the street sweeper and I. We were both slow. Why was I slow? I was slow because limping up my driveway to flag him down was the first time I had walked in a month. My doctor just cleared me for walking in my surgical boot after my plantar fascial release surgery that I had on July 23rd.
So, it finally happened. We met the street sweeper, the kids gave him the book and he was on his way off into the dirt ridden paved path to the rising morning sun.
Well, in my ideal world that is what happened.
However, in my real world with a three year old, it happened quite differently.
See, John saw The Mighty Street Sweeper book for the first time when we were giving it AWAY. Um, John wanted to READ the BOOK. John cried and fussed and carried on while I was having my nice convo with Mr. Curtis, the street sweeper man. I tried to explain to John that we would check the book out at the library. Nothing helped. One nice thing Mr. Curtis said was that I must be a good teacher to my children if John wanted to read the book that bad. That was nice. (During our convo, he found out that I teach at home because he mentioned that Carmen looked big enough to be in school. So I said you listen here, buddy! She is not truant. I am a licensed teacher and I have every right to have her here at home with me!). By the way, that part in italics just happened in my head, I didn't actually say it aloud.
What happened was, Mr. Curtis suggested I keep the book to read to John. He was very kind and wanted John to have a chance to read it. So I gave in and after he drove off, I sat in the driveway and read the book to John. Mr. Curtis told me where his office was and just as soon as John and I finished reading the book, we went to the Waynesboro Public Works office and dropped off the book for Mr. Curtis. John completely understood now that the book was a gift for Mr. Curtis and we wouldn't be keeping it. It was so sweet!
In the inside cover I wrote a note, "Dear Mr. Curtis, thank you for the important job that you do. From, the Petty family" and Emmett, Carmen and John signed their names.
I love having these educational experiences with my children while educating them at home. If they were in classroom all day, they would most likely never see the street sweeper go by. They may read about community workers in a social studies book, but there is something more meaningful about meeting the actual community worker doing his job right in front of your house and then thanking him and going to his office to see where he reports to every day.
Below are some random pictures. Some of them show how the children are growing so fast!
|Just hanging out in the car outside Michael's. Loved my view of that guy so had to take a picture!|
|John, Carmen Emmett August of 2013 on an overlook near our house. John was 2, Carmen, 5 and Emmett 6|
|Emmett August of 2014 on the Erie Canal during our trip to NY and Emmett just one year later at the Nashville Zoo. He has grown so much!|
|John 5 months old and John 3 years old.|
|John 1 year old and John 3 years old at the park in Waynesboro this summer.|
|Ah, almost time for school. Carmen wrote me this note on August 19th and I promptly wrote her back! Not ready for school...ugh. But glad she is excited!|
|Goodbye scooter. This was right before I heard the street sweeper coming up the road. So happy I can walk now. It hurts and it is a long recovery but I am making progress!|
|Had to throw in this pic of John at Coldstone Creamery from August 14. He was happy!|
|And this picture means my blog post is over because this is how I feel right now as I get ready to start school tomorrow. Poor John so tired from shopping at Costco. :)|