Every child has a ‘thing’. A talisman. An item that can’t leave their side. For many it’s a stuffed animal or a blanket. Oliver has a lambie. But that’s not his ‘thing.’ His ‘thing’ is a small green recycling truck.
When he says the words, it sounds a lot like train track. Or tree trunk. But he says the two words a lot. He’s at that stage of development when his speech is a string of observations and play-by-plays: “Mummy, light on. Green truck. Mummy, this snacks. Green truck. That’s Frank. Green truck. Mummy, shirt on.” Each time he says green truck he holds it up grinning ear to ear like he’s showing me a 1952 Mickey Mantle trading card.
Truth be told, the green truck is stolen goods. Leaving my sister’s house after Thanksgiving, Oliver had this tiny green truck in his white-knuckled clutches. And like any parent with a child who can shatter glass with his scream, we made the conscious decision to let him have the truck.
With great power comes great responsibility and we’ve wasted many an evening racing around the house feverishly searching for the missing green truck as Oliver sits upstairs in his bed weeping.
The first thing he fishes out of his sheets upon waking is the green truck. Food he hasn’t eaten? Stuffed into the green truck. Company in his carseat… green truck. Tucked into bed each night with his two lambies, books, three stuffed dogs, and… his green truck.
A child has the remarkable ability to put their faith, their comfort, their happiness into these objects. Sweet dreams in the clutch of a green truck. Frustrations from a puzzle piece awry disappear with a green truck. And an opinionated sister making it hard to get a word in edgewise? Green truck.
I watch as peace washes over Oliver each time he reconnects with his green truck and I can’t help but envy the simplicity of it all.
What is your green truck?