What happens to truckers sometimes when the wind rushes past the driver's window, according to Beverly Cleary's Dear Mr. Henshaw?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Beverly Cleary's Dear Mr. Henshaw, in a diary entry Leigh writes to "Mr. Pretend Henshaw," dated January 30th, Leigh is very upset because he has hardly heard from his father that month. His father did not phone until after Christmas on January 8th; then, after promising to call in another week, he does not, instead sending a postcard promising to call in yet another week. It is now January 30th, and Leigh still has not received a phone call from his father. To try and put him at ease, his mother says he shouldn't be too upset with his father for forgetting to contact him since a "trucker's life isn't easy." To illustrate the difficulties of a trucker's life, she explains, "Truckers sometimes lose some of their hearing in their left ear from the wind rushing past the driver's window."

Another problem truckers have that Leigh's mother tells him about is getting out of shape from sitting too much and eating too much fast food. They also frequently get ulcers from the stress of trying to arrive at their destination in time. None of this information helps Leigh feel less sad about his father, though. In fact, he begins to think his father loves being a truck driver more than he loves Leigh. He also learns his mother used to ride with his dad on his truck trips before Leigh was born and startsĀ thinking it's his fault his parents divorced because his birth prevented his mother from continuing to ride with his dad.

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