Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Snowflake Express

It is such an honor to get to relive the magic of the holiday season through the eyes of my three year old.  To introduce him to some of my favorite Christmas traditions and watch the world through his eyes as he experiences the magic of this time of year.  We watched the classic version of The Grinch the other day and he was mesmerized.  A movie I've seen a hundred times before suddenly felt like I was watching it for the first time.  Now, every night, we point out the characters on his new set of flannel sheets - little Cindy Lou Who, the puppy, and of course, the Grinch himself.  I love his innocent questions, the connections that are beginning to form, and that sparkle in his eye when he talks about "Chwis-miss."  Last night, the two of us spent some time at the book store while Beau went to a UNI basketball game.  He played with the train, we read a few Tow Mater books, and he soon became enthralled with an Imaginex Batcave.  He asked if he could take it home with him and I said no but that he could maybe ask Santa for it.  He thought for a second before asking, "But how will Santa know?"  I told him we could write him a letter.  He paused again before he sweetly asked, "Will you write it for me?"  This is the first year he is beginning to make sense of it all and it's such a thrill to see his wonder and excitement. 

This weekend, we experienced all of this and more as Cruz got himself a train ticket to the North Pole. 

The Snowflake Express train found its way to Cedar Falls on Saturday and it was quite the event for our little town.  There were five sold out train rides throughout the day and the Rotary Reserve looked like a scene out of the Polar Express as families young and old made their way to the train cars to find the perfect window seat.  Us, Jordan and Kelli, Charly and Hayes, and Papa and Grandma found a set of seats together in the very last train car and settled in for a festive ride in the woods.  Dressed in their Christmas pajamas, the kids smiled from ear to ear and waited with their tickets in hand for the chance to be on a train with Santa Claus.

It was storybook.  The sun was shining through the train windows, creating this soft mid-afternoon glow as little faces pressed their noses against the windows.  We spotted lots of deer in the field and listened to Christmas carols play as kind men dressed in old-fashioned conductor suits came by to collect our tickets.  Soon, someone read from the Polar Express and before long, a sweet Santa and Mrs. Claus visited our train car, gave lots of hugs to the littles, and placed a golden jingle bell in each little hand.  The ride lasted about an hour and soon we all headed back to the Rotary for some hot cocoa and sugar cookies.  

I will remember so much about this day.  The way Cruz looked in his Santa hat, with two rosy cheeks like Santa himself.  How cute Cruz, Charly, and Hayes looked sitting in their very own seat together, each of their unique personalities shining as they always do.  The giggles they shared as all three piled on Beau and missed most of the reading of the Polar Express.  How cold it was, but how hot it was in the train, and the way the three of them sat on the floor of the Rotary and ate their cookies quietly.  It was a perfect way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon and I hope we can make it a tradition for years to come.


More pictures from our adventure.  My camera loved this backdrop.


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