Yesterday, Liam and I were building a train track, and, as usually happens, we ended up just one piece short of what we really wanted to build. After a bit of trying to make it work with the pieces we had available, and then, failing that, trying to convince Liam that perhaps a redesign was required, I remembered that we had some extra train track pieces stored in the closet. They’re in the closet because they’re for the Christmas train, not the “regular” train.
Every January and February, I slowly start to squirrel away the Christmas decorations and toys. I do it stealthily, and gradually, to attempt to avoid an all-out uprising in favor of keeping our Christmas decorations up until summer. Understandably, the boys love their Christmas stuff, and they generally object to having it put away. With a few exceptions (both Liam and Benjamin have several Christmas-themed stuffed animals that stay out all year because they are so dearly loved) the decorations and toys get put away eventually. (I stand firm in the face of adversity because I really belive they’re more special to all of us if they only come out for a little while each year.) The manger scene, the Christmas train, the Santa books — all of it eventually gets boxed up and put in the closet.
But yesterday, to solve our engineering problem with the train, I decided to retrieve a single piece of curved track from the closet to complete our creation. Ta-da! Success!
Kind of. Because, of course, Liam quickly figured out that where there was one piece of the Christmas train, there would be more. And he began to ask, very sweetly and “Please please please!” if I would get the Christmas train out for him. And, as kindly as I could, I explained that the Christmas train was put away for the season. But he persisted in asking for it.
And, after a few minutes, I went ahead and got it out. Not because I was frustrated or overwhelmed with his asking (which was actually uncharacteristically respectful) but because, why say no? Sure, it’s not Christmas. Yes, it’s June. The Christmas train has been put away for about 5 months now, so it seems plenty special to get it out and enjoy it again.
And so, we had Christmas train construction and play time last night. We got out the rest of the track, the Christmas train, the gingerbread cookie decorations (note — not real cookies), the Christmas wreaths for the train set and, of course, the little plastic Christmas trees that go with the set. Because, why not? Christmas is great and it’s really nice to just say yes once in a while for no real reason. Liam is so happy.
(The only unintended consequence is that Liam now has us counting down how many days until Santa comes . . . oops!) Merry Christmas to all (in June)!