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An Irresistible Birthday Lesson from My Garbage Man to the Young Turk


It is my habit to write a special post just to my son, the Young Turk on his birthday. Usually they are about how amazing he is and how he inspires me every single stinkin day to show up as 100% myself no matter what other people say.  He reminds me that, even though it can be the harder path, I don’t have to live my life based on other people’s rules.

But we were all taught an amazing lesson this morning by our garbage man and if the YT ever wants to read the archives of his birthday posts, I hope this one reaches out and grabs him by the heart.

Here’s what went down:

We were in the usual front yard pandemonium getting ready to walk to school with backbacks and strollers and scooters and helmets when our garbage man walked down the street. (I truly hang my head in shame because I do not know his name. But I’m gonna find out.)

The YT shouted out “It’s my birthday!” I expected a polite acknowledgment at best. After all, we’ve never had a conversation with this man before. But here’s what we got instead:

“Really? How old are you?”

“I’m 8!” says the Young Turk.

“Well that’s fantastic.”

Then we gather our things and start the troop movement toward school. THEN the garbage man literally takes my breath away to the point of tears.

Calling my son by name, because he LISTENED, he pulls two one dollar bills out of his wallet, hands them to the YT and says with a smile, “Happy Birthday.”

Stunning and mesmerizing and memorable and remarkable and captivating and irresistible – all in 3 seconds flat.

I hope the memory of that three seconds stays with you your whole life, Young Turk, because it really doesn’t get more beautiful than that. And if I can help you glean a few life lessons (I’m your mom. It’s what I do.) here they are:

1) No matter who, what or where you are, you can do something amazing.

2) Always pay attention to the little things. It really is all about the little things.

3) If you aspire to be irresistible or remarkable or unforgettable, get out of your own head , focus on the people who inhabit the world you walk in every day and make them feel spectacularly important.

There are more lessons of course, but I will stop here. Otherwise you will think I’m lecturing you. Well, I AM lecturing you, but again, I’m your mother. That’s my job.

I love you sweetheart. And I am eternally grateful for the gift you received from our garbage man today. I hope I can come close the matching it.

Happy Birthday!

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