Man it's been a whirlwind the last few days. I had no idea it was going to be this big and spread so far. I just saw an article in India this morning.
We took Ethan out of school on Monday since we were worried someone would spill the beans. We had some interviews over the weekend and we've heard some people at his school saw. Probably wasn't the best decision, but we were too caught up in the moment.
Yesterday, we started out the day as if it was a normal day. I didn't get much sleep the night before, worrying about how we're going to keep him away from the media prior to the reveal. I was too worried they'd spill the beans. He did his morning treatments and got ready to school like any other day. When we arrived, the media was already camped out, some already reporting at 5am. He asked why they were there and we told him we didn't know. When the gates opened we waited a few more minutes and then walked a round about way to avoid the media in case they recognized us. The next obstacle was hoping the kids didn't say anything.
Then it was time, the kids lined up to form a tunnel, and Ethan was escorted out with his principal with his school mates cheering him on while waving wands with stars on the top. When he finally came to view he stopped and that's when he noticed the garbage truck. He asked why was that there and then realized his name was on it. He then ran to through the banner, and I gave him a huge hug. He was so excited.
He was given the key to our city of Rancho Cordova, and then got him dressed into his garbage man uniform. Then our journey began with a motorcade escorted by our local police, sheriff and Sacramento city police. Our first stop was VSP, a company who makes eye glasses. He met the Global CEO and president. They showered him with gifts like lego garbage trucks, sunglasses, hats, and they even gave Lila her own Lego garbage truck and glasses.
We then picked up their trash and then traveled to Sacramento using city streets. We stopped at the Sacramento Bee, where he met the president of the Bee, and picked up their garbage. Each stop had a super hero (Reuse, Recycle and I can't remember the 3rd R) Each superhero would teach him about the environment and how the three R's help. We then headed off to the local firestation where he got to get in a fire truck. They were also hosting the local toy drive which was the last day. He got to choose where they got to go for donation. I didn't hear what he chose as the media was swarming over him at every stop. He also met one of the soccer players from Sacramento FC Republic where he got his own custom jersey with his name on it, a signed soccerball, and tickets to a game.
Then we headed to my work, where I couldn't believe how many people were lining the streets. I work in a 25 story high rise, and I think the building was empty. When asked at the Capitol, Ethan said Daddy's work was his favorite stop. He got to lift paper products into the recycle compactor, and met the trash monster and Recycle Rex. He was given a hazmat suit, a hand drawn cartoon with him in a garbage truck and other items.
Then we headed to Frank Fats a prominent resturaunt in Sacramento where he met the owners, picked up their trash. We were given a gift card to eat at one of their locations.
Then the main event was held at the State Capitol, where hundreds were waiting for him. I placed him on my shoulders and we ran to the stage with the theme song from Rocky in the background.
It was there were Sacramento got to meet Ethan. He met the Mayor-elect Darrel Steinburg, the Sacramento President of Waste Management, the Chief of Police of Sacramento. The Governor of Jerry Brown was in Philly, so a representative read a letter written by the governor to Ethan, thanking him for his service as a garbage man. The President of the Sacramento Kings, Rivercats, and the Sacramento FC were there. At one point Ethan was asked what was his favorite baseball team. He yelled GO DODGERS at my dismay. He does it to get a reaction out of me, which he did as I got up from the stage with my hands in my face. The rivercats president wasn't please since they are the Giants affiliate team. It was then we were told that Ethan was given tickets to the Sacramento Republic soccer match, tickets to the rivercats, and tickets to the kings with a personal behind the scene tour of the new arena.
Ethan was in his element answering questions from the press. At no point he was shy. I can't believe how well he handled the attention, the camera and the busyness of the day. We then had lunch, and ended our day sitting in the seat of the Governor. Ethan was even playing on his computer. That's when I opened my big mouth in front of the Governor's staff and said, Ethan log in and give your daddy a raised, not 3% but 7-10%
We then were driven back home. Ethan received about 9 garbage trucks from various donors along with some other toys. He also received a mini-dumpster that is now his toy chest.
Then there's the media. It was overwhelming but exciting at the same time. It gave the world a break from the craziness we've had over the last several weeks. I've seen his story in India, had a live phone interview with an Ontario TV station, and my wife did an interview with today.com. It's crazy how this was covered, way beyond what we expected. I'm glad it happened as it made people aware of CF and of Make a Wish.
It also has some negative effects. It was overheard at his school that some kids were saying he was going to die... Our fear as some kid is going to tell him that. As we havent' had the full talk. I'm sure it also caused children to ask questions about life as well. It was never our intention to make others worry about themselves.
But overall, Ethan was a garbage man for the day, and he had the time of his life! Thanks for being apart of it and all the support you have given him!