The past few weeks have been so simple, but so profound for me. My greatest teachers, Zander and Kaya, of course. I know I said previously my brain had turned to mush but maybe I'm just taking the time to really listen to them.
We have a train track that crosses a main road about 5 minutes from our house. In the more than 2 years that we have lived here I've never seen a train actually go across it. That doesn't seem to diminish the joy of seeing it though for Z & K. Anytime we get close to it Zander starts saying, "Train Track mom, Train Track mom." Kaya then repeats, "Train Track mom, Train Track mom."
Also, anytime we come home from that direction Zander repeats over, "Are we going to see the traaaaiiiin traaaack?" So, as you can see, the train track causes great excitement in my aging Acura.
Yesterday, amazingly, as we were driving to Babies R Us and Barnes & Noble, I saw the train crossing sign start to lower. I, excitedly saw to the kids, "Look up ahead at the train tracks!!!". So we rolled to a stop, turned down the radio, rolled down the windows, and waved at the train as it passed.
The kids were more than happy about this surprising treat in the middle of their morning. Zander kept asking, "What's in that one mom?" and Kaya over course repeated, "What's in that one, Mom?".
Now at this point in my life, as anyone who has been around children knows, am quite exhausted by the thousands of What? Why? Where? questions thrown my way during the day. When I know the answer I'll tell him, until he asks the same exact question 2 seconds later, and sometimes I simply say "I don't know, Zander."
But due to this special train moment I thought I could play along....Thinking of The Little Engine that Could, I would say things like, "Maybe there are toys on that one." or "I think there are good vegetables and fruits for little boys & girls" and their favorite, "Probably candy, like lollipops."
Since our train viewing probably lasted 5 minutes, we had much to talk about.
Zander suddenly made the connection that he had ridden a train, at the zoo. I was amazed that his little 2 1/2 year old mind remembered all of this from a month ago. He started telling me all of the following, non-stop. (This is as close as I remember it, this is the longest story I've ever heard from my sweet little guy.)
"Mom, we rode on a train at the zoo with Grandma. We went in the zoo and saw ducks. No, they weren't ducks because they were pink & orange. What were they mom? (I said, flamingos) Yeah, mingos. Then we saw some pandas, Kaya loves pandas. (Kaya then says "Panda Bear mom, Panda Bear mom".) We rode a ride then we rode a train with grandma. We pet animals with Grandma. Then we saw the birds. Then we went and bought a Panda hat. (And Kaya says, "Panda Hat, YeeHaw!").
Amazed, I said, "Wow Zander that is right, you are so smart for remembering."
He answered, "Maybe we go to zoo another day mom and ride the train."
"Yes, Maybe we can."
After the zoo story, the train viewing is coming to the end. I glance over at the two cars beside us. You can tell one man is just disgusted that he had this unwelcome interruption to his day. The lady beside us is cussing into her cell phone.
I just look back at my two kiddos and smile and I look up and say a thank you prayer to God.
Thank you so much for this interruption and train lesson in my day.