Monday, November 12, 2012

Train Theory

Every weekend that we visit Eric's parents, we all venture out for a train ride.  I think that Saturday morning treat might be Ryan's favorite part of life.  He has most of his favorite people within reach, and well, a train ride is a train ride.  It's wonderful, and I can't say that it's just the kids who enjoy it.  I grew up in a train town, wishing I could ride on just one train, so it's a great treat for me as well.

In the beginning, we thought we'd take the train as an addition to another trip.  The first one was to the aquarium in downtown Dallas.  We had a rich, full day planned!  It was just Eric, Ryan, a baby Richie and my pregnant-with-Maelynn self that summer day.

Let's just say the aquarium was busy, enclosed, and the best part of the trip for the kids was the train.  The best part for me was getting to see friends that day, but the kids were in love with the commuter train.

The people train, as Ryan dubbed it, has been a staple of a trip to Grammy and Grampy's ever since.  We may have ice cream down town, we may just ride to the end of the line and back.  What we do at the end doesn't matter so much to Ryan, as long as he rides the train.

Grammy and Grampy being who they are, they seek to love us and the kids in a way we and they understand.  One way they love Ryan is to make that train trip a part of our every visit.  The mere mention of visiting up there prompts a "you will ride the people train" from Ryan.  As soon as we cross the threshold, he begins asking.  And asking.  And asking.

Then the asking turns to demanding.

Then the demanding turns to crying.

He wants to know when.  How.  What time.  He has to know when he will receive his train fix. The pull is too great; the desire is too strong.

Honestly, I am sad to say I'm not always patient with this.  It's not the trip, it's the perceived lack of gratitude that makes my gut reaction to spit something about how not every kid gets to do this and how he should be grateful that he gets to go at all... but usually, something stops that train of reaction in its tracks.

He is a lot like his mother.

There are many things I treasure in this life.  And when something rises as a perceived threat, or I'm asked to wait on something I deem almost life or death-worthy, I begin asking.  And asking.  And asking.

Then the asking turns to pleading.

The pleading turns to dealing.  Demanding.  Begging.

Often, it then turns to throwing my own grown-up version of Ryan's train fit.  The waiting is uncomfortable.  I want to know what time, how, when, and I want to know it all now, or I just want to get what I want now.

So I pray I'll always take a step back before dealing with my son in this matter.  It is his heart's desire, and in his world, a train ride is as important as any of my grown-up desires.  While I must help him learn to be grateful, I have to remember the Lord's grace and mercy in dealing with my own selfishness and impatience.

And I must remember that if I don't get my equivalent to a train ride, there is a reason.  Just as I would never take something this precious from my son without a good reason, so will God not withhold anything from me that is good.

What a great comfort!

Thanks be to God!

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