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?”