Saturday, April 9, 2011

Broken Choo-Choo Train Dreams

I was sitting in a little boy's bedroom tonight. I was there reading books with our friends' nearly 3-year-old boy. And right there on the floor lay a Thomas the Train set with those adorable wooden track pieces, all strewn out.

And then I realized yet another broken dream. Our little Andrew will never place his little hands on train pieces and string them across his bedroom floor.

You see... this train set has meaning.

On Thanksgiving night 2010, we set out for our very first Black Friday shopping experience, ever. Technically it was Black Thursday evening since sales started at 10 p.m. that night. We did this mostly for the thrill. We had time to waste since we knew (new) parenthood would leave little room for crazy, late-night freedoms like this in our future. We decided to shop at Toys r' Us and buy a toy for our little boy. It was almost Christmas and he was almost here. We knew that any toy we purchased would not be suitable for at least a year or two, but we didn't care. You would have thought that we were proud parents of a little boy already sound asleep in his bed awaiting Christmas, aside from the obvious-- my massively pregnant belly that gave it all away.

We stood in line and it was very cold outside. After awhile, I headed back into the car while Ray remained in line, determined to buy our son his first wooden train set. When I walked back out to join him once the line started moving, he was already inside. I waited in the line myself and finally got in to join him. In the meantime, I watched people flooding their carts with toys for their own children. I was amazed at how much stuff people were purchasing and wondered if that was really what happiness was all about. Things. I've never really been into owning a bunch of things just for the sake of it. We prefer time spent with one another in nature, exploring, and eating great food.

Once in the store, I  finally found Ray about 100-deep in line with not only the starter train set, but an additional set to add to the collection. We planned to buy pieces of the collection every year since he would obviously be really into trains. As soon-to-be-proud-parents would, we bought the items and walked away feeling excited and exhilarated that we just braved our first Black Friday all for a special train set for our firstborn baby. That story we'd carry forever and it would be so special to cherish as we saw him string along the train cars making fun choo-choo noises as he glided them quickly along the track.

Excerpt pulled from my blog. Written 8 days before we said goodbye:  
The whole week was wonderful. We spent Thanksgiving with our friends Jim, Kristi, and Joel along with their families. Ray and I are in the midst of 4 days off together which is such a blessing to have right before chaos hits (aka having our first baby!). Sure, it will be chaos, but also a precious time in our lives we will only share together.

Broken choo-choo train dreams, indeed.


Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

Beautifully written. Hugs to you.

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing such a nice story. While we never bought a specific gift for our little girl since she was due after xmas I did get many things after the holiday that were on sale or marked down. Those books that can be read by hallmark and some other small things. They are packed away and dread the thought of finding them next year around the holiday.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

What a nice story, It's so sweet that your husband bought the connector set as well!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Aw, yet another thing to add to the list of thing he will never experience. :(

Like Shell, we handed out those recordable story books for our parents to record for Jack for Christmas. We have about 5 since my parents went ahead and ordered more. I know we have my favourite children's book, "The Night You Were Born" recorded by my parents, taking turns reading the story.

We read many of the same stories to Jack on our last night with him- not quite the way I had anticipated sharing the stories with him.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for sharing that story. So many book and toys and that our little ones will never get to use or experiences that will never happen

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, this breaks my heart. So many big plans. No good reason why they all couldn't have worked out. This should be a funny story that you talk about when he is a train-crazy toddler, not one more heartbreaking memory.

This story makes your love for Andrew and your excitement about him so visible and real. Keeping you in my thoughts.