Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Pretend

My family went on a walk the other day through our town. At one point we came to a set of railroad tracks running along a huge grain station and some silos. A weathered For Sale sign hangs on one wall. The weeds have overrun the triangular field next to it, a small concrete rectangle sits out in the middle of the field, and there are mailbox posts still standing near the road, the boxes removed.

The kids and I are fascinated by this run-down piece of property and as we inevitably do, we started weaving plans around it as if we were prospective buyers. It's amazing how in sync our thought processes were.

"Let's make it a train station."

"It could be the main depot. The trains carrying people from (Point A, to B, to C), catering to students and tourists. There'd be a market for it."

"I want to walk up and down the aisles selling treats!"

"I want to work in the ticket office."

"There's room for a small restaurant or cafe."

"Would we use a big train?"

"No, something small to start with. Strictly passenger oriented."

We saw a shiny new building, a cleared parking lot, people milling about, pretended to hear the train whistle as it approached. Padded seats, probably red, inside the train. Excited children standing at a fence, waiting for their turn. The smell of food from the restaurant.

"What should we serve?"

"Hot dogs!"


"Indian tacos!"

"Wait, we need healthy food."

"Fruit. Lots of fruit."

"And carrots."


And then we crossed the tracks and moved away. Now we were passing homes.

"I want a house just like that."


"It has a chimney."

"I love those flowers."

"Don't run through other people's yards!"

"Look, a deer!"

"It isn't real."

"They have a playground."

"This house is cute."

"This grass needs a haircut."

"I want to live in this house, too. It has a rock path."

"I love the trees."

"Ah, shade!"

"A squirrel!"

"Excuse me," to a lady walking outside, "what kind of a bush is this? We love the flowers on it."

But the best moment was on the way back home. Two teenage girls passed us, talking. My five-year old son quickened his step. "Hey, girls!" To us, "Those are my girls." Yelling ahead, "Wait up girls!"

I don't think they heard him since they never stopped talking or looked back. He continued to hurry after them, chattering on about how they were his girls until they turned a corner and went out of sight. He slipped his hand into mine and said, "Mom, I love you."

One of my daughters grabbed my other hand to cross the street. She gave it a squeeze.

I love walks with my family.



  1. This is so heartwarming! I love taking walks with my family, too. It's amazing what little kids notice--things that we grownups don't ever pay attention to. Thanks for sharing this! :)

  2. That is so awesome :) Walks are truly great, especially now that the weather is getting better! (Woah, that rhymes!)

  3. What a wonderful memory! Filly hasn't quite lost her fascination with the outside world, and so we have those fleeting moments - some of my favs.

    Thank you for sharing :)