The Dumptruck

IMG_1507When I found out we’d have a son my heart soared. I would have had the same reaction if it was a girl, but we’d already been blessed with two wonderful, sweet, exceptional little girls so a son would be completely new to us. I was so excited to start having boy stuff in our lives. Being the utterly practical person I am, I’d already been collecting the usual baby stuff we’d need from the day I found out we were expecting. We would be sure to have all the bases covered when the new one arrived. (We were starting all over after handing down our baby stuff a few years prior)

However, both my husband & I were dreaming of toy tool sets and dinosaurs scattered all over the house. We were so giddy! So the first thing I shopped for when I found out there was a little guy on the way was a Tonka dump truck. To me, this was the quintessential boy toy and our little guy had to have one. I was discouraged to find that Tonkas cost about $30-40. I was still saving up for a stroller and a crib. This wasn’t on the list of necessities so it had to wait.

About 8 months later, our little guy wasn’t yet old enough to play with a dump truck so it was still on my wish list. We got lucky one day when my Auntie gave us a dump truck that her son had outgrown. She had no idea how amazingly awesome this random hand-me-down was to me. I nearly cried (dang hormones) and Little Mr. was very happy with his new toy. IMG_7077

As he grew, this was far and away his favorite toy. He’s the kind of kid who sees a truck when we’re out driving and exclaims “A truck! Vrrrmmmmm vrrm!”. When his Daddy is working on cars in the garage, Little Dude is right beside him trying to copy his every move. He is a mini car-guy.

On our son’s second birthday, Toys ‘R Us had a BOGO sale on Little Tykes toys so we went to pick out a gift for him. I love Toys ‘R Us’ selection but not their prices. Whenever we go, I have to walk the whole store and drool over all the wonderful things we’d love to spoil our kids with. I could spend a fortune in there! On this particular day, while browsing & wishing, I came to the truck section and found the mother of all dump trucks. It was a huge, metal, construction yellow Tonka. Light began to shine from this awesome toy and a choir of angels sang- it was a religious experience. Then I saw the price tag… $55.

IMG_0159I knew I couldn’t buy it but I lusted. I stood there running my hand over the smooth, shiny yellow paint wanting so badly to get this for my little guy but, sense kept me in check. He would never miss not having it and it would cost an eighth of my grocery budget for the month. After a minute or so, I slowly moved away from the truck… but I didn’t forget. I told my husband about it and, his reaction was the same as mine. He would have loved to buy it for Mr. Man but couldn’t justify spending the money on something that wasn’t needed. We accept that we want all kinds of things but, unless it sustains us in some way that thing goes on the maybe someday section of the shopping list. Perhaps we would have bought it as his one Christmas gift.

Two months later, my husband was driving home from work, when he spotted this huge yellow toy dump truck in a vacant gravel lot near the roadside.  He had to get a closer look. It turned out to be a faded, weathered, rust spotted Tonka truck. They very one I had told him about!

When he walked into the kitchen that night I turned to greet him and he had this huge grin on his face as he hefted the toy for me to see. I squealed in delight and astonishment. You’d think the man had brought me diamonds (actually I probably wouldn’t have been this exited about diamonds). You’d think the man had brought me Taco Time Take-out. I couldn’t help it, nothing gets me more excited than getting to give our kids a little something extra. Providing for them feels so good and spoiling them feels even better.

So I immediately grabbed a dish brush and some soap and dragged it out to the hose to wash it. Dinner was bubbling away, the troops were waiting to be fed and my husband was like, “Do you have to do that right now?” “Of course I do! He’s going to want to play with it the second he sees it! I need to get the scum off!” A couple days later, Daddy is sanding and repainting the rust spots and giving the hinges & axles a little grease.  Little Dude doesn’t give a rip that his awesome new toy is used and faded. He’s just utterly in love with his dump truck. And me? I’m counting our blessings. IMG_1449 IMG_1451

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