The idea dawned on me as I read the email about an upcoming family day at Sabrina's school. There was going to be games, a petting zoo, music, arts and crafts, and a fundraiser car wash. YEAH! I'm going to volunteer Max for the car wash, I thought. I figured it would be fun (the car wash obsession is still going strong), and help introduce him to the idea of volunteering. Afterward, I realized just how much the activity meant to him.
I emailed the woman in charge of the car wash and told her about Max and his love for car washes. Could he help out? Definitely, she said.
And so, we showed up on Sunday, Max wearing his trusty headphones and raring to go. He immediately grabbed a rag and started swiping cars, and he did not stop for a good hour and a half, impressing all the teen volunteers.
Max made sure every inch of the car he could reach was wiped down, including the wheels. At one point, he made me pick him up so he could do the windows. Then he started waving cars on through, trying to coordinate the line-up. I half expected him to start charging extra for wax.
"Ten!" he said, and he got his wish.
The volunteers helped Max hold the hose, gave him new rags when his got filthy, and shared bites of pizza. Sabrina had wanted to help with the car wash, too. But when she ambled over and saw there was actual labor involved, she headed right back to the fair. Max was more than happy to keep her out of it.
I can't recall ever seen Max focused this intently on something—well, other than watching Cars 2. I realized how great it was for him to know he was doing a great job and helping others; who doesn't like to feel that way? But for a kid who struggles with many things in daily life, from articulating words to picking up a pencil, it must have felt extra-amazing to get the job done. This is a good reminder to keep on him about doing chores at home.
I am going to pay Max to wash our car as long as the weather holds up. Maybe I can convince him that dusting the house is just as much fun? Maybe?