This post is really about three and not free, but Little O pronounces it much closer to freee – so that’s the title. August 20th was the big day. It is so hard for the Parakeet to process that three years ago she was wheeled out of the OR and handed a screaming, wiry infant that instantly clung to her breast, quite literally, for life. Just three short years ago. How much has changed!
The birthday celebration was two-part for the O. The first part was a trip to see Thomas the Tank Engine in Union, IL. The second part was “cake and presents”. Little O has known about part two for a while now, but part one was a SURPRISE until Thursday night. The Keet and the Huz wanted Little O to be able to look forward to the trip, so they told him over dinner that on his birthday they would be driving out to take a ride on Thomas the Train.
HUGE SMILES. Endless questions, lots of talking….
In fact, he woke up at 4:30 on Friday morning asking if it could be morning, could it be his Birthday, is Thomas here? Oh.My. They were able to get him to sleep a little longer and wait one.more.whole.day.
On Saturday morning, Little O watched Thomas while he ate breakfast. He fingered the brochure that came in the mail with his tickets. He pointed at pictures and referred to his ‘map’. The family loaded into the car, coffee cups full to drive out to Union – the Huz expected it to take just over an hour.
There wasn’t much traffic. They moved along at a clip. As they were about to exit the highway, the sky changed. It was quick and thick and gray. Little O asked from his carseat, “Why is the sky dark, dad?” Well, it appears there is a major storm coming. Neither parent checked the weather. Why wouldn’t it be sunny and perfect on the Saturday morning of the third birthday of non-refundable Thomas the Train tickets?
It POURED. The radio handed out flash flood warnings. The Huz followed the winding signs through detoured and construction-laden roads to the Illinois Railway Museum. They parked in the flooded out field and watched it pour. The Keet knew there was no option but to go for it. There was an old box in the back of the car. The Huz unfolded it and used it to cover he and O’s head while she RAN.
They made the most of the morning and got matching blue ponchos for everyone. The company was nice enough to be selling those at half-price. Little O skipped a lot of the tents and they made sure to take the Thomas ride. He was super agreeable and they were grateful for his happy personality watching MAJOR TODDLER meltdowns from so many other children in the park. The Huz and Keet were definitely crankier than the Kiddo. He was a superstar.
They drove home with a fun stop at Steak ‘N Shake where Little O was very excited to order a “grilled cheese please”. He was just non-stop chatter and happiness. It made the Huz and the Keet sooo happy to see him this way. It seemed like he knew this was a very special day and he was a very special kid.