Train Ride

2012-04-16 12:00:00 +0000

On Saturday, 14 April 2012, I took Emily on her first train ride. For you folks not in Austin, this is a small commuter rail line that runs from Leander (northwest of Austin) to downtown. There is a station about 3 miles from our house.

Before Emily went down for her nap, Rebecca told her that I had a surprise for her when she woke up. So when I went into her room after her nap, the first thing out of her mouth was, “Mom said you have a surprise for me!” I told her we were going on a little trip, but that wasnʼt enough. “Where are we going?” she asked, over and over. I couldnʼt keep the surprise much longer. I told her we were going to the train station.

We had been to the train station once a few months ago, but only because we had about 20 minutes to kill while a Walgreens nearby filled a prescription. We didnʼt see any trains that time.

Now Emily was excited. “Are we going to see trains at the train station?” It took a few minutes for everything to come together in her little brain, but she eventually came to the conclusion, with wide eyes, “Maybe we can get on the train at the train station!”

Rocks at the train station

We packed a bottle of water and a few snacks into my lunchbox, or “Emilyʼs briefcase”, gave Rebecca and Molly some kisses, and drove to the station. We played with rocks on the ground and ran around on the platform and tried out all the benches we could find. Finally a train came by, but it was not going the way we wanted to go and it didnʼt even stop at our station. Emily was impressed with how fast it went.

Waiting for the train

We waited a little longer and our train arrived. At first it looked like Emily was apprehensive about getting on. She wanted me to carry her. But once we were on the train she walked around and climbed on seats excitedly. There were not very many people on the train yet because our station is close to the north end of the line, so we practically had half the train to ourselves.

We had a wonderful time. When I asked Emily what she liked most, she said she liked that the train was going fast. We listened to the electronic conductor voice announcing stations and we practiced saying the station names.

“MLK Jr Station,” I said. “LMNOK Junjor Station,” Emily repeated.

The trip downtown took about half an hour, and by the time we got there Emily was ready to get off and look around. She also wanted to go to the restroom. The station downtown is right in front of the Austin Convention Center, so we popped in, took care of business, and got back on the train. After about ten minutes we started our journey back home.

Riding the train

There were quite a few more people riding northbound, including a little boy who looked about two years old riding with his father. The boy had a complete meltdown and cried for about ten minutes. Emily did what she always does in that situation. She looked at the boy like there was something wrong with him and asked me, “Is that boy sad?”

At one point I realized that when Emily said something like, “When we get to our station, are we going to get off?” or “How far is it to our station?” she was actually trying to say “Howard Station”. When you drop the leading H and trailing D, you get something that sounds a lot like “our” and further demonstrates Emilyʼs ultimate cuteness.

When we got home Emily was excited to tell Rebecca about our trip, and Iʼm looking forward to more awesome dates with my daughter in the future.