It's not every day that your child forms a close bond with the local sanitation worker. But for a set of two-year-old triplets from Florida, that friendship has been going strong since the tots would watch the men working from the confines of their stroller.
Now Heaton, Wilder and Holden look forward to their twice-weekly visits with sanitation workers Andrew Black, Rob Whitmore and Chad Cover. The guys typically spend 10 minutes interacting with the kiddos and catching up on each other's lives. It's a time packed full of hugs and fist bumps.
Mom, WFTV anchor Martha Sugalski, shared this touching video on Facebook, and it has viral written all over it.
The friendship may be unlikely, but there's not a shred doubt that it's genuine and totally mutual.
“I just love the triplets. I almost feel like they’re my own,” said Black. “Every time I see them, they just bring me joy.”
The friendship is a credit to Sugalski. So many people look past "garbage men" as if they don't exist. Or worse, they look down their nose with disgust. To be sure, sanitation workers have a hard job.
Sugalski not only encouraged the triplets to follow their natural friendly instincts with the guys, she herself looked past their job title - and saw their humanity. She took the time to get to know them as individuals.
“Mr. Rob just got married,” said Sugalski. “And Mr. Chad is a DJ on the side. We’re always finding out what parties he did, or what he did on the weekend.”
Because she treats the workers with respect and kindness, it follows that her children will grow up to do the same.
Whether it's a garbage collector, a mail carrier, or a shop clerk, a community becomes so much richer when you take the time to get to know the people in it. And so few of us do.