Thursday, October 18, 2012

UP #844 and the Pumpkin Patch

I had another post started.  It wasn't half bad!  It's the one I had planned to do today.  But as I started work on it, there was something awesome that happened today that just wouldn't leave me alone.  So you can read the other post later.  This one's better anyway.

On the way to Waco after dropping Ryan then Richie at school this morning, my phone rang.  It was Ryan's resource teacher.  Immediately I waited to hear him scream in the background.  Or for her to tell me that he'd just tossed the lunch monkey.  Something that would make me turn around and have to forfeit my time discussing Deuteronomy with the ladies from church.  I mean, it's a really good book... and the discussion has been great.  So much fun.  Learning at this point in life is my favorite pastime.  And after this time, Maelynn and I go to get a little lunch and some groceries.  Just the two of us!  A little hen party.

Obviously, if there was something wrong, I would turn around and go back to school.  And believe it or not, all that thought about what in the world could be wrong went through my head in half a second. Hard to remember to be positive, but pessimism comes with lightning speed.

After a minute or so, I learned that Ryan was just fine (whew).  There was a field trip planned for this afternoon to walk the whole first grade across town to the pumpkin patch behind the Methodist church. His teacher promised that someone would be glued to him for the whole walk, and I trusted that she would keep that promise... it was the aid in the classroom who would do it... but there's always a chance someone would get sick or suddenly need to be gone.  That was my other concern.  But no, the pumpkin patch thing wasn't even in the ball park.

His sweet resource teacher told me that Union Pacific #844, a steam locomotive, was on track to stop in a town just north of us at noon, and would roll through our town later in the day.  There was no guarantee, however, that the train would make it on time.  It could be much later.  But I might be able to get back in time to see it go through town.  Maybe at least Richie and Maelynn could see.  Interrupting Ryan's school day on a field trip day would be less than good.  And, with the craziness of our family schedule, I need time ahead to plan when I will buy groceries if not on Thursday.

Thanking her profusely, I hung up wishing that I could make this happen.

Later in the afternoon, at a stoplight in a town on the way home, I Googled the website and found the train tracker.  There was no way I'd make it to town in time.  Then I actually prayed that God would allow my big boy to see this.  He would love it.  It would bless his heart so.

In a whirlwind of an hour and a half or two, I unpacked groceries, picked up Richie, took he and Maelynn on a trip to the pumpkin patch they'd begged for and I had promised, and went to get Ryan.

Ms. K brought him out, he climbed into the van, and she said, "Ryan, what did you see today?  Can you tell Mommy what you saw?"

Of course, he couldn't... he never does.  Something amazing has happened at school so many times... he's been on the Polar Express twice, and never said a word other than "I got the bus"... and we heard nothing.  We just had to trust that he had a great time.  Oh, his teachers would tell us, but he's not able to express himself that way.

Knowing he wasn't going to say anything, after giving him a chance, she first told me that he was great for the trip.  She held onto him, and he never offered to pull away.  Wonderful!

Then, she told me that he saw it.  My baby boy who loves trains more than anything in the world aside from his drumsticks, got to see the Union Pacific #844 roll through his hometown.  Built in 1944, this magnificent steam locomotive now travels the nation as Union Pacific's ambassador of goodwill.  As a girl who grew up admiring Kansas City Southern engines as a kid, and who got to climb all over a parked steam train at Queen Whilemena when camping with her grandparents growing up, I wanted to see it too!  But more than anything, I wanted my dear little guy to get the privilege.

From what Ms. K said, Ryan loved it.

It's the strangest feeling.  I'm so glad he got to see it.  But so sad at the same time that he can't tell me all about it.  He has rattled off "Did you see a locomotive?" a few times this afternoon, and every time I try to start a conversation about it, but conversation is just not something he's able to do right now.

I wish I'd seen what K pictured.  All the first grade blocking the street, jockeying for a peek.

Thanks be to God for Ryan's resource teacher, Ms. K, and his classroom teacher, who all love him and know him so well and go well out of their way to reach him.

And thanks definitely be in order to God for his perfect timing.

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