My wife and I took the car to the dealer yesterday to once and for all address the check engine light, and get a peace of mind as we move into the cold days of winter.Â So we took the subway to work and preschool.Â Â
I take the train every day, but we hadn’t taken the boy on the subwayÂ in about two yearsÂ so I was anxious; I was totally against commuting with Devin during rush hour in the city.Â My wife, however, convinced me that it would be fine, and it was.Â We prepped the boy before we all went underground saying things like “there will be lots of big people on the train” and “you’ll probably not get a seat kiddo” and “stay veryÂ close to us.”Â When weÂ arrived at the platformÂ underground he wasÂ in awe, and visibly a bit nervous.Â The nervousness did not last long at all.Â “Train tracks just like Thomas’!” He shouted as he struggled to get a closer look.Â Then,Â seeminglyÂ out of nowhere,Â the train breezed into the stationÂ prompting the smile that spread across his cherubic face.Â ItÂ was priceless.Â
We stepped onto the train as a family and we found a placeÂ where we couldÂ stand together.Â The doors closed with theÂ familiar “ding dong” sound that I remember from my youthÂ signaling thatÂ our little journey was set to begin.Â Once the train was in motion Devin said, and a little too loudly IÂ should add,Â “Mommy, I like the train.”Â My grinning wife then brought her eyes to mine and said “great, now people are going to think that we’re a bunch of bumpkins that have never been on the subway before.”Â I just adore her sense of humor.Â We laughed as we were jostled by hard-faced New Yorkers.Â
As the train moved from station to station DevinÂ impersonatedÂ the whooshing sounds of the brakes, smilingÂ the type of smile that only a three-year-old in a state ofÂ pure bliss can.Â When we got off of the “iron horse” at our Mid-Town Manhattan stop we started toward the conductor’s post at the center of the trainÂ so that Devin could get a glimpse of the real thing as apposed to Tom Hank’s animated character in the Polar Express.Â And we got a good one.
The conductor was in full MTA dress from head to toe, his hat giving him the authentic look that we had hoped for.Â He was an older gentleman with aÂ deep voice and a serious look of duty.Â Devin started waving wildly at the man that was probably someone’s grandfather acting like the full-blown train groupie that he is.Â The conductor nodded politely and mouthed a hello that made my boy’s year.Â “He looked at me!Â He looked at me!Â The conducted looked at me!Â He said hello to me!Â Not you, me!”Â For the rest of the day he talked about his firstÂ real experienceÂ on the subway (he was an oblivious toddler the first time he rode the rails).Â Â It’s moments like that that remind usÂ how life can have moments of unexpected joy evenÂ during something as mundane as commuting.