I hope you remember you loved this

He studies the garden railroad book. The book with real pictures of miniature railroads.

The trains that have real smoke coming from the engines, that climb across miniature bridges, and wind around tiny plants that look like trees.“Can you buy this for me?”

I explain that the trains are too fragile for little hands. Your wooden train is perfect for practicing; perfect for your hands. Grandpas have real trains.

He moves the wooden tracks of his train in a new configuration. He uses Lincoln logs to build houses to create a village for his train. He stacks wooden blocks as buildings. They fall, and he struggles. “How come my Grandpa doesn’t have a real train?”
The book is in his lap again.

He turns the pages, slowly, pausing on some pages, and flipping back the pages to look at some again. He wants to know when we can visit one. I try to think of who I know who has a train like this, so that we can visit.“How about you can get me a train like this, when I’m a Grandpa, as a present.”

I tell him that’s a great idea. Content, he takes his battery engine back to the track he’s built and lets it run across the track.

He watches it go up and down the hills and across the bridges. He puts a bowl of water under the bridge to serve as a lake.

“How will I not forget that I like trains? How will I remember I like trains when I’m old?”

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19 comments to “I hope you remember you loved this”
  1. They are so intense, aren’t they? Everything matters so much. Dudelet (at just turned three) is just starting to take a serious interest in his Brio (epic amounts acquired from all manner of sources) and getting it perfectly correct is so crucial. He’s also finally started building with blocks instead of just knocking them down – castles, a helicopter. It’s the stuff that’s in all the brochures selling you fatherhood 🙂

  2. What a beautiful post. I hope he keeps that love of trains forever, even when he is a grandpa, and then he will be able share that love with his grandchildren.

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  6. We just dug out our box of train stuff the other day. My kids share amazingly well for some reason when playing with them!

    Recently my 3 yo daughter has been saying things like, “when I grow up and you’re a grandma, I’m going to move to (China, California, etc.)” and “I need (her brother’s dirty sock) so I won’t forget him!” Makes me really curious about what her inner conceptions of time and memory really are.

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  16. When I was little we lived across the (real) railway line, from the Model Engineers Park. On one or two weekends a month you could hear the buzz of model planes and if you were lucky, Mum would take you down to ride on the back of the model trains. I took it for granted. In the UK we knew a family whose father serviced a full on model trainline in the grounds of a largish free standing home. So many blessings. Wish your lad could find a place like that…

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