Essays,  Featured,  grandparenting,  Kid stories,  Photo stories,  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking for dump trucks

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My two-year-old grandson, Liam, is obsessed with dump trucks. One morning earlier this month, I popped him in the stroller and set out on a mission to find a few in our neighborhood. With so many new houses in progress, I was sure we’d spot several dump trucks at work. But no. The daily brigade of construction vehicles hadn’t arrived yet.

Disappointed, we returned to the backyard to play with a mini sandbox filled with toy excavators and dump trucks. (Liam is the only two-year-old I’ve met who can say “excavator.”)

Suddenly, the little guy’s ears perked up at the sound of a real truck’s back-up signal — right outside our backyard.

“A dump truck!” he squealed. Sure enough, a huge, glorious dump truck filled with mulch was backing into a neighbor’s driveway across the street. What luck! Liam and I hurried out the garden gate and down the sidewalk for a better view. Seeing the two of us, the driver of the truck saluted and waved at Liam.

Liam’s attention span is typically short, like most two-year-olds. But that morning he stood transfixed for at least ten minutes, holding my hand while the dump truck beeped, clanged, rumbled, and emptied its load.

Emerson was spot on. When you focus intently on a goal or wish, things have a magical way of falling into place — dump trucks included. I whispered a reverent “thank you” for this small miracle. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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