I shed a little tear for my boy yesterday…
We spent the weekend alone together. After a tiring first week of school, On Saturday I took him to our capital city, Edinburgh as a treat.
We spent 12.5 hours in, on or admiring transport. Riding on the city tram, trains (a particular type he had been longing for), buses, and watching aeroplanes. I planned our route and sequence of stops, and then he devised a better one.
I tested him at the main station. It’s big, it's busy. 20 platforms handling 21 million passengers per year. I bought the ticket and worked out what time we would be catching a train. Armed with the information about the next stop and the time, I challenged him to go and read the departure boards, work out which train it was, get the platform number, then find the platform and take us there. He succeeded perfectly.
Then we went to a Chinese restaurant he specially requested - where he ate fries 🍟 and onion rings! It was a buffet, so I had not much choice but to leave him alone at our table while I got my food.
Towards the end of the meal the lady on the next table leaned over and told me what a delight to see a child so beautifully behaved. We're often told that.
And here's what I've realised: the more I allow him to spread his wings and grow, the more beautiful he becomes. He is my sunflower, reaching for the sky. 🌻
Despite an epic Saturday, on Sunday he wanted to see trains 🚂 again at the local station; we ended up staying several hours. He read all the information boards, decided which trains to see, found the platforms. We went over the bridge and under the underpass. We went up the stairs and down in the lift (elevator). He predicted the engine types, and as the trains came passing through the station he read the name plates to me and decided if he'd seen them before. "Sir John Franklin", "City of Manchester", "Treaty of Union" and so on and so on.
He told passers-by all about them, whether they wanted to know or not! He observed all the safety rules, even though his boundless enthusiasm was constantly threatening to break into uncontrollable excitement.
And that's when it hit me. My little boy is only four; he is locked into his passion for trains, but he just keeps amazing me. A tear rolled down my cheek.
I was confused, I didn't really know what emotion I was feeling.
He is my startling, fragile little whirlwind. 💜
My wife pinpointed it later for me: just an overwhelming sense of protection, not just for now, but probably for all that is to come.