"I've never rode a train Mom."
he said with eyes lit up.
So, we bought two round-trip tickets
to my mother's house.
(She lives a short walk away from the train station.)
Our trip would only be forty minutes
but that would be long enough to say
"We've rode a train!"
The day of our trip
was the day after
his eleventh birthday.
I'm pretty touched
that he would choose
to spend the day with me
instead of his friends.
Our train arrived at seven A.M.
and we didn't leave until nine P.M.
This gave us plenty of time
just him and I.
I thought everything went great.
We played games like "Catchphrase"
for about 5 hours
and laughed and laughed!
No talk of "my childhood" came up.
He and I took a couple walks together
spending hours in antique shops
until he found the perfect
antique "survival knife" to buy
with his birthday money.
We stopped into the ice-cream parlor
and had the biggest ice-cream cones known to man!
When it was time to leave
we walked to the little restaurant
for dinner first.
We shared our meals
and talked about our day.
I saw a young man
sitting across from me,
looking at me through the eyes
of my baby boy.
After our meal
we walked back to the train station.
Our train was late but
we didn't mind
that just meant more time to talk.
When I saw his eyes fill with tears
I had no idea what was wrong.
I was chilled to hear what he said.
"Mom, I just feel so bad for you.
I can see how sad you are
when you talk with your mom.
I just wish you didn't have
the childhood you had.
That's why I took so many trips
to the bathroom today...I just couldn't
look at you sitting there with her.
I knew how you were feeling,
I could see it in your eyes."
It took some convincing
to make him see
that I don't focus on
what my mom and I don't have.
My focus that day was on
what he and I
and that is priceless!
I wouldn't trade that kid
for anything in this world
and I'll never forget
how we spent his eleventh birthday.