Little Blue Trucks

My daughter, Charlotte, loves the book, The Little Blue Truck. She loves the animals and making their sounds with their pictures. But she really loves the little blue truck. She’ll cheer and clap for him. She points to blue trucks whenever we’re out walking or driving.

She’s drawn to that little blue truck.

Perhaps it’s because we have our own (big) little blue truck. It’s a project truck, a 1972 Suburban. Her father has been working on it since before she was born. She’s seen him under the hood, under the car, inside pulling out seats, rewiring, and now driving around the neighborhood in our very own little blue truck. When her father pulls out of the garage in the blue truck, Charlotte cheers.

Charlotte’s drawn to that little blue truck.

Perhaps it’s because a friend in the community drives his own little blue truck around town and waves to Charlotte. His name is Raymond, and you can find him driving all over the town’s streets, from morning to evening. Most times you can hear his truck coming before you see him. And in our delightful little town, everyone always waves to one another. Charlotte has already picked up on this habit. So every time Raymond passes our house when we are outside playing, Charlotte looks up and waves. Sometimes she follows the truck down the sidewalk. Her giant smile joining her waving hands.

Charlotte’s drawn to that little blue truck.

I’d like to think that even at 2 my daughter is beginning to understand that it’s not just the little blue truck that is important, but rather, the people and experiences she has with those in the trucks.

From her father she’s learning the value of hard work and learning as you go. Of not being afraid to try new things. Of making mistakes and learning from them. Her dad loves cars and working with his hands, but it’s hard work. Yet he makes time to do what he loves and to continually push himself. I hope Charlotte sees that. And the joy it brings him when he finishes a task on the truck. Or the feeling of driving down the country streets with the windows open and the crispness in the air in a truck that was taken apart and put back together in love.

From Raymond she’s learning the gift of community. Of neighbors knowing neighbors. I see him waving to everyone he passes. I see him waving to my daughter on the sidewalk. I see him notice her and acknowledge her. He’s teaching my daughter the importance of knowing one another and taking time to say hello.

Charlotte’s drawn to that little blue truck.

Our friend Raymond died this past week. His body will be driven to the cemetery in his little blue truck. I’d like to picture the entire town waving to him as he makes his way to the cemetery. I like to think that most people in the town who see blue trucks in the years to come will remember Raymond and his smile. His waving to neighbors. His love of community.

I know Charlotte will.

Charlotte’s drawn to that little blue truck.
And all the little blue trucks that draw her into community.