My son has been fanatical about the movie “Cars” for several months now, an obsession that my mother and I have nurtured through the purchase of shirts and shorts and toys and even training pants.
While his favorite character in the film – like most toddlers, I assume – is Lightning McQueen, he’s also a big fan of Mack, Lightning’s transport truck. And in recent weeks, he’s started calling out “Mack!” every time he sees an 18-wheeler on the road.
This morning, however, his little game reached a whole new level.
“Mack, Mama, it’s a Mack! A yellow Mack!” Anthony called from the backseat. “If you see a Mack, yell Mack!”
So he and Cera and I did.
And, as we on embarked on our drive down U.S. 1 toward Lee County, it seemed like we were yelling out “Mack” every few seconds. So when we crossed over the line from Wake to Chatham, we decided to start counting.
By the time we reached Sanford a little over 20 minutes later, we had already spotted 36 Macks (I’m sure not all of them were actual Macks – there may have been a Peterbilt or two in there – but we’re using it as a generic term).
Most of the Macks had trailers attached, but some didn’t; when the kids saw just a cab driving down the highway, they would yell “Mack without a back!” We counted trucks that were red and blue and green and brown and one that Cera described as “pinkish purplish.”
I even made the game into a math lesson.
“Cera, we have 16 Macks,” I said. “How many do we need to get to 20?”
“Four,” she declared.
On the way home, we decided to resume the count, and thanks to a bit of rush hour traffic on Horner Boulevard and a drive past the truck stop, we tallied 97 Macks. We had hoped for 100.
I have a feeling we’ll cross that century mark tomorrow. Because I have an obsessive 2-year-old. And that means we’ll be playing the Mack game for weeks to come.