Every Thursday morning at 8:15, little Brooklyn Andracke gets her world rocked.
Standing in her front yard, the 3-year-old waits for the moment when the big, white, lumbering truck rolls by her house.
"Hi! Hi!" she shouts and waves. And garbage collector Delvar Dopson honks the horn, flashes the lights and waves and grins right back.
This has been going on for about a year, Brooklyn’s mom, Traci, told InsideEdition.com. Her little girl is fascinated by anything driving past their house in Bloomington, Illinois.
But she especially liked the mammoth garbage truck. So one day, Traci said: “Let’s catch the garbage truck.” On the way to daycare, they stood and waited.
Then they saw him coming. “She noticed the driver and he noticed her, and then he started honking and flashing the lights and waving,” Traci recalled Thursday.
And that was it for an awestruck Brooklyn. Thursdays would never be the same.
Sometimes, if they were running late and missed Dopson’s truck, Traci would drive around the neighborhood looking for him.
“I would pull up next to his truck and roll the windows down so he could see Brooklyn and he’d flash his lights and honk the horn and smile and wave.
“We literally did this every week.”
And then one Thursday, on April 7, it was Brooklyn’s third birthday. She and her mom had baked birthday cupcakes to take to daycare. How about if we give one to the garbage man? Traci suggested.
So out they went to wait, with Brooklyn clutching the wrapped treat.
Traci motioned for the driver to pull over and led her daughter up to the truck.
And Brooklyn, who always chatters away and is not shy, was dumbfounded.
“He’s famous to her,” Traci said. “She was just standing there with the cupcake and completely forgot to give it to him. I was just chatting away, filling in the spaces because she couldn’t put two words together.”
Also, he is very tall and very muscular. But then he bent down to her level and she wrapped her arounds him.
And this is how Brooklyn Andracke met Delvar Dopson.
Two best friends, just hanging out. (Courtesy of Traci Andracke)
Dopson told her how special Thursdays are because of her smiling face. He rushes out of his daily work meeting so he won’t miss seeing her as she leaves for daycare, he told her.
In the car, as Traci drove Brooklyn to school, the little girl was dead quiet.
“I said ‘Brooklyn, sweetie, are you OK? What is the matter?’’’
In a hushed, sweet voice, her daughter said, “Mommy, I’m so happy.”
That was when Traci thought, “I have to do something. I’ve got to reach out to the city and tell them what a great guy they’ve got.”
A co-worker helped Traci get in touch with city officials, who put up photos of Brooklyn and Dopson, along with a story written by Traci about their adventures.
It was an instant hit, receiving comments from places as far as Canada, Japan and Australia about the simple beauty of seeing things through a child’s eyes.
The local paper came out and did a story, Traci said. One week to the day after Brooklyn’s birthday, there came Dopson, right on time.
But this time he was bearing gifts. A big basket of “Frozen”-themed presents because Brooklyn is a big fan.
Again, she had trouble speaking, her mom said. “It just blew me away.”
The two are now fast friends. Traci made a video of Brooklyn playing with her gifts and sent it to Dopson. He made a video of what happens to the garbage he picks up at people’s houses.
“This is really about two people who made a friendship,” Traci said. “They couldn’t be more different. And they don’t care. It’s all about being happy.”