Monday, October 1, 2012

Max gets a job



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.

"How many cars do you want to wash?" the coordinator asked, amazed. (She had no idea just how gaga for car washes Max is.)

"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?

26 comments:

  1. Good on you Max working so hard to help others! I am really proud of you and hope you had a fantastic time :) bron xx

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  2. Good job, Max!

    I would pay him to wash the tub. I hate that job and it's *similar* to a car wash, right? You might even be able to hire him out for that job ;-)

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  3. wow. you learned, Max learned, the coordinator learned and who knows what lessons those teens learned!

    win win win win win!

    Lydia

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  4. This is great. And seriously, go for the dusting -- same activity right? Just no cars.

    This is where our little idiosyncracies click in and show their value. Everything has its bright side. I'm a professional, but one weekend I had the chance to volunteer at checkout for a fundraising sale. Scanners and everything! I sat there literally the whole 8 hours -- no breaks. I loved the mechanical, busy nature of the work and didn't want to stop. The coordinators thought it was wonderful, but I was loving it too. Go Max!

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  5. Beautiful story and great idea about making the car washing at home a payable chore!

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  6. Awesome in so many ways!

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  7. This is great! Good job, Max (and you too, for raising a kid who is eager to help!).

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  8. Max looks like he is getting so much stronger. I'm truly amazed at how much better his muscle tone looks in these photos. Way to go Max!

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  9. Great job Max! And good for you for helping introduce him to volunteerism!

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  10. Oh that is so great! Way to go, Max - you rock, my friend! :)

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  11. What a wonderful thing! Max felt great about doing a job and he helped with a good cause.

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  12. I got to see Max in action - he was fantastic. My oldest was one of the teens helping out, and they were all adoring him!

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  13. Totally agree, win-win day!

    Kristina, I would pay Max (or Sabrina) big bucks, too, to wash the tub.

    And Alia, how awesome! The teens were really great. I hope a lot of $ was raised!

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  14. I really loved reading this post Ellen volunteering to help out for Sabrina's school is a way that he is able to be the bigger brother to. Plus volunteering is important to give back to the community

    now for him to attend classes there would be great


    Its me what can i say I am all about inclusion

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  15. I'll bet he did a better job than the guys who do the wipedown after the auto-wash! Good for Max!

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  16. That is awesome! What about using the "privilege" of washing the car as currency for doing other chores like dusting? I remember when I was younger I used to love washing the cars with my dad, and it was a privilege that could be taken away if I didn't behave during the week. :)

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  17. Max was so into it! It IS tough to find appropriate chores for our kids, but so worth the effort. There is a difference between the effort for eating or dressing and contributing to family chores. My son started with the silverware from the dishwasher.

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  18. Awesome! He looks so cute! Definitely into his job!

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  19. Sounds awesome, congrats Max! Too bad car washes are going automatic, when he's a little older it could be a good summer job. Maybe neighbours and relatives and friends might want a car wash?

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  20. I imagine it's good PT too...

    Can you make this a weekly/monthly job for him in the household? I imagine Sabrina has a job or so. And I'm with Kristina: maybe he'd like to do windows, or bathroom mirrors...

    Have a great Succot.

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  21. Car wash and dusting too that's child labor LOL :)

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  22. I love this post so much! Go Max!

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  23. Max should open his own car wash. 10% of the profits should be donated to help people with cerebral palsy.

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Thanks for sharing!



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