Family Tradition

Tomorrow is the largest toy train swap meet of the year in our neck of the woods. We’ve been taking the kids since they were babes. I’ve wondered each year, since our kiddos neared adulthood, if this may be the last time we go together as a family.

My son has a fondness for trains and loves modeling. While still in high school he designed an amazing Halloween layout, wrote an article about it’s creation and was published in a national magazine. His collection rivals his fathers so, it was a safe bet he would attend if his schedule permitted.

My daughter however, is not a huge rail fan. She has one engine that was given to her as a wee one and I doubt she could pick it out on the shelf without reading the numbers on the side. Train smoke gives her a headache, the whistles are too loud and the clanging of the crossing gates get on her nerves. You’d think that since she’s graduated from college, has begun a successful career and travels the world, she would find a ready excuse to skip this annual event. Instead she’s curled up on the couch anxiously awaiting the event. While she isn’t big on trains, she is huge on family. You see, it’s her job to check out the boxes along the floor, to wade through the throngs of people and find that elusive piece her dad or brother has sought all year. She’s short and can squeeze through openings they can’t fit in.

Afterward, we will go to lunch and the men will determine who found the best deal and plot a better strategy for next year. Once home, my daughter and I will decorate while the guys try out their new treasures. Our home will once again be filled with train smoke, loud whistles, clanging bells and laughter. And the holiday season will have begun in earnest.

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