December 29th, 2015
The holidays are in full swing at our house. Before the family winds down for the evening, we gather in front of the tree to watch the Christmas train make its way around. It is a scene that has played out in this manner for the last 14 years. The train was originally given to my husband as a gift because he never had one as a child. With the birth of our first son, I thought the train would be the perfect gift for the two of them to share. That one train has now led to a collection of four holiday trains and a son who loves model trains. The boys like to turn all of them on at the same time. The house is a little noisy for a while. As this holiday was Bailey’s first one, we were not sure how our long standing train tradition would be received by her. Would she woof or pounce on it? How would she react to the train sound effects or the seasonal music blasting from the engines?
Bailey was mesmerized by the train circling underneath the Christmas tree – especially with the two penguins teeter tottering back and forth on one of the cars. I wondered as she leaned closer to the train if Bailey hoped the penguins were edible. Somehow, she knew not to touch it. Derailments are not tolerated very well by the chief train engineer, my eldest son. This particular train has seen much wear and tear over the years. A few of the railway tracks are held together now with tape. Any suggestions to retire the train or replace it are vehemently rejected. So, it continues to lumber slowly down the track.
Our chief train engineer needed a conductor. Bailey seems well-suited to the role. She likes people so a customer service job seems appropriate. She gladly greets the train as it passes and tolerates wearing the train cap. The two of them take up their positions in front of the tree sitting side by side. It is no longer just a boy and a train but a boy, his dog and a train. The train tradition will continue for a few more years. All aboard, everyone!