Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trains, Planes and the Garden State Parkway

While I take a few hours of writing for myself, my son is on an adventure today. Like most four year old boys, Ethan has a rabid, unerring, constant passion for trains. Well, he loves vehicles of all sizes but trains are by far his favorite. Oh and did I say he loves maps too? Especially New Jersey and New York maps dotted with local highways and turnpikes and skyways.Cabbies around here become a little freaked out when they strap my son into his seat and then he gives them precise directions home. When we go to our neighbourhood Krauzer's for a quart of milk unlike most kids who'll beg for a lollipop, E will beg for a lollipop AND a map of Hudson County.

Today, Ethan is driving with his daddy to Jersey City and from there, they're taking a the path train into the city. In one fell swoop all of his major interests will come rushing up to meet him: trains, maps and handing money to grown-ups. He and daddy will have an indepth conversation about what route to take to Jersey City, and then--this part his a surprise--go down into the train for the first time. E may well be wide eyed with excitement! The noise! The people! Daddy will let him pay the fare and they'll hold hands as they step onto the car. E will rivited by the rumble, maybe a little frightened by the flashing lights and the darkness of the tunnel.

And if that isn't enough, once they re-emerge into the city it's just a quick walk to Dinosaur Hill a small but spectacular toy store on the Lower East Side where I'm sure E will avail himself of a tiny fire engine or a garbage truck, some four wheeled thing that fits in the pocket of his jeans. Then, after a well deserved snack, chocolate milk and a cookie I wager, they get to do it all again back to the car in Jersey City.

Don't misunderstand, I'm grateful to have this small window of time to write without interruption. It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood and I plan to enjoy it. But I also look forward to that new knowing look in Ethan's eye, that look of actually having been inside a passenger car of speeding train.Later, When I ask him how his day was, he'll look at me only say, "Good." And then he'll go back to the business of constructing a garage on the living-room floor.

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