Yesterday, my daughter and I, along with my sister and her daughter, had a fun-filled outing in downtown Philadelphia. We went to the Candytopia exhibit, had lunch and just walked around and explored. We tend to go on many fun outings. Sometimes we walk, but most times we drive. What made yesterday even more exciting was that we derailed our usual routine of driving and took the train.
Believe it or not, it was my six year old’s very first time taking the SEPTA regional rail train, with the exception of the Strausburg Railroad for train rides with Thomas the Tank Engine and with Santa. As we waited on the platform in the 30 degrees Fahrenheit weather, Quinn exclaimed, “I’m excited but a little nervous.” Then, she noticed the words on the ground in front of the yellow safety zone. “Watch the Gap,” she read. Then she took a few steps back and said, “I’m nervous because I don’t want to fall down on the tracks.” I reassured her that I’d hold her hand and that she’d be fine. When the train approached, she was beaming with excitement and asked to sit by the window.
I enjoyed sharing stories with her about when I would take the train to college, and I was reminded of when I was younger always loving to look out the window on the train and just observe people coming and going. She was amazed at how fast we were going and even observed how it was “speedier than the train ride with Santa.”
After enjoying our time downtown, we hurried back to our regional rail stop from Reading Terminal Market, and Quinn was eagerly looking forward to her train ride back home. Even though we were greeted by a sign that said our train was delayed by 18 minutes, she was a good sport and actually like the environment of just sitting on the bench and seeing people go by.
I remember always being on the bus and train when I was younger, especially since my mother did not drive, so it was not as big a deal for me. When I saw Quinn’s excitement, I realized that I need to occasionally derail my routine a bit. While it’s great to have the luxury of getting in a car and driving to our destination, I want Quinn to have the fun experiences she may not normally do. It helps to make her well-rounded and to even appreciate what she has. We both agreed that it would be nice to take the train downtown and to other places more often, and my plan is to make sure that happens.
All the best,