They say children grow fast, but they don’t at first. At least not mine. Helen has been two for at least three years. Margot has been one for six months. But Reed will be turning five this autumn. Five. All of a sudden. The pace is picking up, and I don’t see any sign of it slowing.
Last summer, Reed still spent hours each day with his little wooden tracks and toy Thomas. The living room would be webbed with intricate railways and tunnels and hills. And now it is not, and hasn’t been for some time.
It’s been months, maybe longer, but I only really realized it last week. He is too old for those things, now. And I miss it. I miss the little wooden tracks in the living room and telling stories, reading stories, hearing stories about trains.
It’s a trite story, but it’s a true one. And even though I am sad about the trains, I am glad to be taking part in it.
Last week, we walked home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and Reed sat on the back of the stroller. He held The Order of the Phoenix to his chest just like anyone who has ever loved a book holds it to theirs.
“Are you sure that book isn’t too difficult for you to understand?” I asked. “The fifth book is pretty complicated.”
“Well,” he said, looking down at the book, “I don’t understand any of them, but I love them. I like Harry and Ron and Hermione.”
I like that boy, that boy who loves things he doesn’t understand. I’m happy I get to share these years with him. I’m happy I get to miss wooden tracks.