We have started a new tradition: a carriage ride through downtown Denver to see the lights of the city. This has charm written all over it.
We invited my parents to join us, since – in this life stage, anyway – a few extra adults on hand are helpful for any tradition, especially a plan that involves a train, buses, and city traffic. I’ll go ahead and not forge that path on my own just yet.
The boys loved it. Tucker never stopped smiling. I have to agree: it was a pretty magical ride, with the clippety-clop of the horse hooves, the fluffy blankets in the carriage, and the canopy of lights overhead. Magical.
Such a perfect something must certainly be followed by a perfect dessert. We went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and each chose a gourmet caramel apple. (Tyler literally groaned his way through his apple, such was his delight.)
We had such a fun time, whiling away the evening in a perfect temperature, turns out we missed the last train home.
Oopsie Daisy. This adventure just became a learning experience.
A little investigation showed us we were not forever stranded downtown (although I admit I was thankful I had memorized the phone number on a passing taxi cab, when Tyler pointed out so very many twos in one place).
We only needed to walk six blocks, take a bus to another train station, and wait for the C Line that would come again at 9:25.
(Where’s a stroller when I need one? For someone to push me in?)
The boys were troopers. My dad whipped out his best entertainment techniques, leading us in the Hokey Pokey and Father Abraham while we waited for the train.
The boys also had their first encounter with homelessness and schizophrenia. It was happening all around us, to us, in a loud way.
“Mommy, why didn’t you give that man all the money you have? You have money in your purse. Why didn’t you give it to him if he’s hungry?”
My sweet child. I wish I had a good answer.
“Mommy, why is that man screaming at us? What is he trying to say?”
His mind isn’t working tonight, lovey. Just stay close to mommy. And stop talking.
Hey, guess what? We found the C Line. We made it home. We fell into bed.
And we’ll do it again next year.
Or, you know, the first half of it.
It’s funny how many of our family adventures always turned out to have what we call a “glitch”….but they always hold the funniest and dearest of memories. (My son now dating his love Jessica for three years now and both at school in Chicago have missed the trains in Chicago and turned up at “closed restaurants” more times than my son would like to think about….and yet they laugh and laugh). I think these are the memories the kids hold so dear. So many would love us to believe that life is all about Hallmark moments, which are so wonderful…..but growth, tenacity, perserverance, problem solving, messiness, homeless sons and daughters……those “missed trains” and “snotty tissues”, those keep us grounded……it’s there where our Heavenly Father prefers to reside.
Thank you so much Tricia for continuing to share your journey…
Laughin’ aloud. This is has Metaphor for LIfe written all over it. Just when it is all magical and cozy and you think it might stay that way forever, you lose your way and your ride home. Then after some amount of hassle and meandering and trying to make the best of the changes, you look back on the wonder and lessons learned, hoping that next time it will somehow be ALL Perfect and Magical. But dang if there isn’t always a little hitch to get through or over or under. Still, it is worth it. All of it, worth it.