Friday, May 6, 2011

Train spotting

TGIF! This week has been fairly rough for lots of different reasons, so I thought it would be a good idea to write about something light and happy in an effort to help pull me out of my funk. So, here we go.
A little over a month ago we decided to go on a family outing. With no agenda in mind, we hopped in the car and found ourselves near the neighborhood where my husband grew up. He loves the idea of sharing his favorite childhood places with our boys. I’m not quite so lucky since I grew up in a different state, but I digress.
We went to a park that sits adjacent to the waterfront and we let the boys play for quite a while on the big toy. I remember it being particularly brisk that day despite the sunshine and I had forgotten a coat. My hubby, the kind and loving man that he is, covered me up with his coat and gave me a big hug to warm me up. Uh oh. Oops! I seem to have forgotten my coat...again! J
Since I was getting quite chilly from the breeze off the water, my husband eventually decided that we should probably pack ourselves up and get back to car. On our way, Prince Charming spotted the train tracks. If you know nothing else about my little man, you should know that trains are his favorite thing. (In fact, as I am writing this, I can hear him playing trains in his room.) 
He got very excited and wanted to get closer to the tracks. Since the tracks were fenced off we didn’t have any safety concerns about them running over and getting hurt. We thought it might be fun for the boys to have a moment to stand near to the tracks, since they haven’t really had the opportunity to do so before. We walked over to a clearing near the tracks and were chatting about trains and how daddy heard the trains from his house every day growing up.
Then, it happened. We heard the faint sounds of a train approaching. Oh boy, the excitement! I immediately went into protective mommy mode, remembering how sensitive each of my boys are to loud noises. I thought the sound of the horn would be too much for them to handle and began to talk with them about how loud the sounds would get since we were right next to the tracks near a railroad crossing. They both seemed happy to stay put and clamped their hands over their ears. Titan stood behind Monkey and I stood behind Prince Charming and we provided an additional layer of sound insulation as we placed our hands over the boys’ hands, helping them to cover their ears.
No, we did NOT do this!

As the train got closer, we saw it was an Amtrak passenger train. We told the boys that there would be people on the train and that they might actually see us through the windows. Their excitement grew. I told them that they could wave if they wanted, but that meant they would have to remove one of their hands from their ears. Both of the boys hastily put the hoods from their coats up over their heads, effectively covering their ears. This helped to decrease their anxiety enough that they could use their hands to wave.
The train got to where we were and, sure enough, there were people on board looking out the windows. They had seen us! The boys were waving their hands wildly which got the attention of some of the passengers. The train was moving slowly enough that we could see them smiling at us and waving back. I yelled over the sound of the train, “They see you! Keep waving, boys!”
They could hardly contain themselves as we watched the train move past us and down the track out of sight. They were ecstatic from the experience. We began to turn so that we could head toward the car and heard another train approaching from the opposite direction. Of course, the boys begged to stay and watch the second train. It turned out to be a freight train and we all counted the number of engines and cars together. After we saw the caboose we walked to the car. The boys had their first up close and personal moment train spotting. I’m sure they’ll want to do it again soon.
I found this picture online of a little guy named Gavin
who loves trains. He is too cute!

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