by William Jackson on 2012-04-16
On Saturday, 14 April 2012, I took Emily on her first train ride. For you folksnot 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 ourhouse.
Before Emily went down for her nap, Rebecca told her that I had a surprise forher when she woke up. So when I went into her room after her nap, the firstthing out of her mouth was, “Mom said you have a surprise for me!” I told her wewere going on a little trip, but that wasnʼt enough. “Where are wegoing?” she asked, over and over. I couldnʼt keep the surprise muchlonger. 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 hadabout 20 minutes to kill while a Walgreens nearby filled a prescription. Wedidnʼt see any trains that time.
Now Emily was excited. “Are we going to see trains at the train station?” Ittook a few minutes for everything to come together in her little brain, but sheeventually came to the conclusion, with wide eyes, “Maybe we can get on thetrain 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 thestation. We played with rocks on the ground and ran around on the platform andtried out all the benches we could find. Finally a train came by, but it was notgoing the way we wanted to go and it didnʼt even stop at our station.Emily was impressed with how fast it went.
We waited a little longer and our train arrived. At first it looked like Emilywas apprehensive about getting on. She wanted me to carry her. But once we wereon the train she walked around and climbed on seats excitedly. There were notvery many people on the train yet because our station is close to the north endof 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 sheliked that the train was going fast. We listened to the electronic conductorvoice 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 Emilywas ready to get off and look around. She also wanted to go to the restroom. Thestation downtown is right in front of the Austin Convention Center, so we poppedin, took care of business, and got back on the train. After about ten minutes westarted our journey back home.
There were quite a few more people riding northbound, including a little boy wholooked about two years old riding with his father. The boy had a completemeltdown and cried for about ten minutes. Emily did what she always does in thatsituation. She looked at the boy like there was something wrong with him andasked me, “Is that boy sad?”
At one point I realized that when Emily said something like, “When we get to ourstation, are we going to get off?” or “How far is it to our station?” she wasactually trying to say “Howard Station”. When you drop the leading H andtrailing D, you get something that sounds a lot like “our” and furtherdemonstrates Emilyʼs ultimate cuteness.
When we got home Emily was excited to tell Rebecca about our trip, andIʼm looking forward to more awesome dates with my daughter in the future.