Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Boy And His Train

Have you ever seen anything this adorable?

With a paper airplane in his right hand and a book-too-big-for-a-little-boy in his left, he sat buckled into the car seat with a manual on his favorite subject - trains. Studiously engrossed in the colorful pages full of beautifully detailed paintings and drawings of America's greatest railways, he read aloud from his cushy ride in the back. "Why are the Indians burning the tracks?" he asked and then, "Oh! I like the chimney on the green train!" ( Green is his favorite color.) "I think it's called a smokestack," I said. "....and the Indians were trying to stop the train by burning the railroad tracks."

"It's NOoooT a smokestack" he argued with a don't-you-know-anything-about-trains-look, "it's a chimney."

What do I know?

I'm just the chauffeur. And I'm learning a LOT.

"Read something else to me, baby boy" I said. "What else is in the book?"

Switching the paper flyer to the other hand, he leaned in closer and read to me again.

It matters not that he can't read.

I hung on every word.

So, on the way to dinner, with the Wild Wild West resting on his modern day jeans, the airplane ready to fly out the window at the slightest provocation and "Sam" the stuffed puppy dog "taking a nap" on the seat beside him, he taught me about engines. Boy stuff. Trains, planes, imagination books.....he has so many projects going at once I can't tell if he's airborne or grounded. Sam's the only one who knows for sure.
But my baby boy's caboose was ready for our weekly adventure.

It's our regular date night ya know.

Flashback 2 days ago: I took him a carton of ice cream. Knock. Knock. Big eyes peering through the door blinds. "It's Mimi, Mama!" He nearly knocked the vanilla ice out of my hands jumping into my arms with a single leap and with one smooth swoop he glued both legs around my entire body, little arms around my neck and his Hilfigered head on my shoulder.

Stuck like a bug to flypaper.

"How did you know I needed a hug today, sweet boy of mine?"
Not a word.
Just more squeezes.

"Are you picking me up tomorrow, Mimi?"
"Of course," I said. "It's our date night. Remember?"
More squeezes.

"Where we goin'?""The usual," I said, "dinner at a fancy schmancy pizza parlor, the WalMart toy aisle and a movie."
"Bumpity Boo!??"
"Yes. Bumpity Boo."

Be still my heart, I thought, this could be one of the most romantic nights I've seen in a while.

When I finally pried his little legs from around my bony body the ice cream needed re-freezing and I needed a spinal adjustment. But who cares?
His hugs are magic.
Flypaper glue and all.

If his mother would let me post more than half his face (it's a family affliction) or at least show him cartoonless, you'd see what I'm talking about (the Queen said with all the humility she could muster). You'll see what I mean if you're ever a "mimi"......

He has the largest blue eyes I've ever seen and sometimes they rest on my face like some starry-eyed fairy full of wonder. He studies every part of my profile with an invisible microscope of love that makes me melt right where I'm standing. And he cares not that I see.

Peering into my eyes. Rubbing his nose on mine. Giggling. Wiggling. Silliness........and other times he just wants to morph into geometrical shapes - "See Mimi! I'm an 8-sided triangle!" - and catch me off guard with a nonsense or two of counting mishaps.

Have you ever seen anything this adorable?

(I said that, didn't I?...)
After dinner we went flower shopping.
We sang "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" ....He told me to stop changing the words.

Then "Hit The Road Jack" as we got in the car to go home (which he thought was hysterically funny) and the first two phrases of Dona nobis Pacem. It made no difference to him we were singing Latin, just as it made no difference to me that he can't read. I'll tell him about peace globes soon and he can fill me in on the wonders of moving steam through his Wild West imagination.

But first, I'll need to learn a cowboy song.

Time to go home. Back to the book.

Under a blue-billed hat, strapped in like a conductor on a track-burning adventure, he led Sam and me through the streets of our town - wearing not feathers and moccasins but wild-faced animals on his cute little shirt and reading the marvelous book, which was too big for his little boy hands and too wide for Sam to see with his puppy dog eyes.

Baby Boy drifted off into scenarios full of dangerous destinations. East and West. Union and Pacific. Chimneys.....smokestacks....which is it? I wonder.

I wonder....I wonder what he'll be. And how - or even if - I'll manage to forget all of this should he grow up too fast and leave me standing in the dust of locomotives long past, when he's too big for spider-leg hugs and has lost the desire to love his grandmother's face with searching blue eyes that laugh and love....

and never let go.

No. I won't forget.

And just when I thought he was surely ready to write a dissertation on steam engines and construction trains, railway stations and..... he stops pontificating.
"What's wrong, Baby Boy? I was enjoying your reading."

"Oh...I forgot to put my puppy in the seatbelt."

Have you ever seen anything that adorable?

Parts of today's post were printed April 2008.


Julie said...

You tug on my heartstrings when you write of him. He's gonna be a good man when he grows up.

Jeff B said...

All the while I was seeing my two boys as I read your words. Not selfishly mind you, just enjoying the simalarities that make little boys so special. Thinking about how the love of a parent, or a grandparent can be so wonderfully felt in the interactions with them.

It was as if looking at your precious blue eyed boy through a mirror and seeing the refelction of my own looking back at him.

Yes, I have seen something as adorable, but in no way does that diminish your own observations.

jennifer said...

Oh how I love my own boy, and doesn't he know it! Your post was adorable and the kiddo, more adorable than words can express.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

yes mimi, but it was many many years ago and it is long gone except for my aging memories. oh for just one moment of it again... enjoy, my friend, enjoy!

hugs, bee

Bond said...

how wonderfully sweet...but the question begs to be asked...who is taking the pictures if 'mimi' is driving her wonderful grandson?


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

He is indeed adorable. It reminds me of my son when he was little. We had the same kind of relationship too. Well, it did cool a bit when puberty hit, but we are very close now. Grandbabies are indeed wonderful. Just enjoy him. Grandmas are so very important. I sure miss mine. Have a great day Mimi. Big hug. :)

Akelamalu said...

Aren't grandchildren just the most precious thing? Enjoy every single minute you spend with him. x

Akelamalu said...

Aren't grandchildren just the most precious thing? Enjoy every single minute you spend with him. x

bundle-o-contradictions said...

I'm in tears, Mimi. Due to the whole Ordeal (I'll get around to posting that story someday), I'm missing such moments. You were breaking my heart for the present, but giving me hope that maybe I'll have the same experiences when my children come back with children of their own. I gotta go blow my nose now...

Carver said...

I don't have any grandchildren and given my only child's current path, it's a long shot (my daughter wants to join the peace corp after she finishes up law school and providing me with grandchildren aren't part of her plan, ha). Even so I know it just doesn't get any better than what you are recounting here. I do have friends with young grandchildren who share which is fun for occasional outings. Not only are you lucky to have your adorable grandchild, but so is your grandson lucky to have you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Julie - I hope he grows up to be his own man - without apology.

Jeff - I was hoping this post would cause others to remember their own "adorables..."
Glad it worked that way for you.

Jennifer - Thank you. And he is at this age, except for the eyes, the spittin' image of his father...which makes it extremely special. So you do know what I mean about little boys!

Empress Bee - I plan to do just that.

Bond - I am taking the pictures from the driver's seat. Before we even left the driveway and later...and yes, I pulled over!
But truly, people in this town are used to seeing me take pictures EVERYwhere I go. They usually run away.

Sandee - Hug accepted and thank you my friend.

Akelamalu - There's something intangible and real that wasn't quite the same with your own child.

Autumn - I wasn't aware that there was an Ordeal. I'm sorry this post made you sad. I hope you will find the strength to write and talk about it.

Carver - I am indeed the lucky one.

Hammer said...

Very sweet these moments are priceless. You've got a gem.

Travis said...

I love when you write about your sweet little boy.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

He’s such a neat little fellow! When I was his age I was fascinated by trains—maybe because almost all of my aunts worked for a railroad.

Patti said...

He is sooo adorable, Mimi. I just love when you write about your sweet grandson.

Reminds me of when Kid Two was 4. His passion was garbage trucks and playing make-believe garbage man for hours.
It's such a cute age!
I know you will continue to enjoy every precious moment.

Desert Songbird said...

Absolutely precious.

And he knows Dona Nobis Pacem ? Wow!

Misty Dawn said...

He is not only adorable - he is absolutely filled to the brim with beauty.

katherine. said...

I love love love this post.

(he looks a great deal like you...)

Mimi Lenox said...

Hammer - Thank you.

Travis - I'm glad you enjoy the posts. They are a joy to write.

Nick - Trains have always been his thing...probably always will!

Patti - Their imaginations are boundless.

Songbird - It's easy to teach kids foreign languages. They don't know it's "hard" yet.

Misty - Ahhhhh.....thank you.

Katherine - Do you think so? I'll tell his mother. She'll love it! (not..lol)

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