Henry Loves Trains

Yes, he does. When getting off work, he and I got dropped off at 5th and Jackson in downtown Seattle. We walked to the coffee shop and had an orange juice and Pay Day candy bar and burned off a few minutes until it came time to ride the 6:15 Sounder to Tacoma.

He likes to be carried but I told him he had to hold my hand. I knelt before him and explained to him what the plan was: walk to the train, down some stairs, and onto the train. He nodded and we proceeded to the station. He is very good at holding my hand but I think it is more from fear of the unknown and noisy city around him. We got to the station making our way down the stairs. He starts ooo-ing and ahh-ing. Trains are a lot bigger than the wooden Thomas the Tank Engine versions they sell at the store.

The time counts down. Henry is curious and talkative. Daddy, those are tracks. Where are the trains? The doors closed and we started to move. He gripped my hand with his little hands and started to smile and talk. We’re moving! Yes my dearest friend, we are.

I admit I was a bit worried. Had he freaked out or gotten sick because of the new experience it’d be a tough hour. I remembered though, that he’s ridden in a car before. Heck, I even had him sitting on his booster seat. After we passed the stadiums, he said “Daddy, it’s not scary!” No, it’s not scary I replied. You see, the whole way down he talked to momma about how he wanted to go to the park and get something to eat. When I showed up he was more certain about going through with the train ride. Once he saw how calm it was, he was excited.

Every passing locomotive, signal, gate, rail car, bridge, plane, track; you name it – topics of discussion. Stopping at the various stations brought momentary frustration. Why did we stop?

I am glad to things like this. As a kid I grew up on the Chicago subway system and my summers in the northern hills of Bohemia — I had their abundance of rail line hobo-ing and trespassing. I hope no matter what his interests are that I can help him see and experience as much as he wants (within reason).

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