we took the train into the city yesterday.
when we boarded a man and his toddler son in a stroller boarded also and sat across from us. the father unstrapped the boy and settled him next to the window. the boy was excited about the train. looking around and every few minutes asking 'train?' to which his father would reply, 'yeah, we're on the train.'
the boy was wearing thomas the tank engine rubber boots and jeans and a blue zip up fleece. he had the round wide eyed face of a toddler enjoying a very special treat. he looked out the window. he looked at me and i smiled at him. he became shy and burrowed into his father's shoulder. he could have been either one of my boys at any point in their toddler lives. i started to tear up.
i wanted to lean across the aisle and tell the father to enjoy this. right here. this trip. this day. this year. don't take it for granted and wish for another stage, an easier one with no diapers and full vocabulary. day by day train ride by train ride enjoy this. because this goes so fast you don't even know.
but i didn't. i sat with my swelling eyes missing my own toddler boys. having an indulgent melancholy free fall on the green line. a mama with no more little ones wondering how the time went so fast. why didn't i keep better track.
right then i turned and caught wingman's face as he stared out the window. big open smile, wide eyes, captivated fully and 100% by a simple train ride into the city. no longer a toddler, but still every bit my little boy.
and just like that, i was saved.