Today was one heck of a day at the Welch household!
First up: meeting grandmother and grandfather in Paterson, NJ to see an amazing toy train show. We were not in our finest form that morning, since our 3 1/2 year-old was awake from 2am-4:30am (he likes his middle of the night social hour – should I be worried about that as a harbinger of things to come?!)
It took us literally an hour to get our tushes out the door. Embarrassing, yes. But stressful too because grandmother and grandfather are very Swiss-like when it comes to running on time. Eventually we got there, and the grandparents were mercifully understanding about our tardiness.
The Things People Do Are Amazing
Honestly, prior to having two boys, visiting a train show would not ever have made it into the ‘must do’ category! But as I stared open-mouthed at the incredible handiwork of the team of grown-up boys that put this show together, I felt really lucky my guys opened my eyes to this kind of thing. It was great to watch children sprint around the setup shouting with delight at each new little detail they discovered. The builders really did think of everything. They even shaped cotton balls into realistic looking puffs of smoke at the top of a smokestack. I highly recommend visiting a train show in your area. There are toy train clubs in virtually every city and Christmas is the time they show off their handiwork.
Getting In the Spirit
Inspired by the train show, we headed home to decorate our house. We already had a tree up but we needed some additional flair – namely a toy train circling the bottom of our tree.
Will and dad got right to work the minute we walked in the door. They worked diligently for a solid hour, gracefully handling Lachlan’s bull-in-a-china-shop interruptions.
The end result is certainly nothing fabulous, just some track and an old electric train Gar had when he was a little boy. No fancy buildings or even snow. But it moves backwards and forwards, has a great whistle, and when it gets going a little too fast, the back cars tend to separate from the front ones – which means there can be crashes.
At first I buzzed around them, getting dinner ready, hanging stockings, folding laundry. But then, drawn in by the sound of their giggles, I stopped and just watched them. It made my eyes tear up and heart hurt. In that little moment, life was perfect. It prompted me to just relax and savor the time with them, which I did.
Now after the boys are in bed, I sit here on the couch, looking at the toy train track around the base of the tree. As I do, my heart fills with gratitude for the real gifts in my life: Gardiner, Will, and Lachlan.
All I want for Christmas is more moments like the ones we had today. And as I mentioned in my BabyCenter post on Monday, my wish for all of you is that you slow down and enjoy these kind of moments with your own families as well.