My older son, was really into trains. When he was itty-bitty, he had amazing fine motor skills. He couldn’t walk yet, but he would pick up the smallest things from the floor. It was no surprise when he started playing with wooden trains when he was about 18 months old. He had the wooden train tracks and would create the most amazing layouts with them. They always connected and zigged and zagged and loop-de-looped. I was surprised when other kids his age would come over and just put track parts in long lines. The layouts his friends made did not connect let alone do anything but go on forever.
At some point, when he was little, I picked up this yard of fabric to make into a play mat for him. I was going through my fabric and found it recently. It is a cheater quilt, but I know my nephew will love it. I just fmq’d around some of the shapes and then straight line quilted to get it done. I put in a few details like “Stephen Aire” on the plane, and our last names on the houses.
My son loved trains for years and years. We moved to Maryland over a year ago. At that time, he and I weren’t ready to get rid of them. I thought my other son would play with them still. But he never really did. So along with the cheater quilt, I boxed up all the wooden trains and tracks to go with them.
And a couple of new cars to use on the play mat.
I am so surprised at how sad I am. My son spent hours playing with his wooden trains. We spent our Saturdays hunting down specific track pieces or trains.
The catalogs that came with each train, were read and reread over and over. We knew all the names of the Thomas trains. My son knew who each train came from or for what event he got them. We went on the Thomas train rides with my brother and his two boys and wife twice.
We watched all the Thomas movies and probably own every train kids book there ever was.
The designs got more and more intricate and his knowledge still impresses me. He can tell you every kind of trestle or train track and train parts and anything train there is. He was going to be an engineer when he grew up.
But now, those trains have been replaced with things of a 9 year old. And we have to say goodbye to all the trains and tracks.
And I am reminded of the little boy that loved them for so many years. And I hope the new little boy they are going to…well, I hope that new little boy enjoys them half as much as my little boy did.
Silly, that a cheater quilt can make me so sentimental.