A wise person on the internet once said, “It’s the journey — not the destination — that matters.” My 5-year-old son is obsessed with the New York City subway, and he takes this inspirational quote literally.
When I became a parent I expected many things. I expected to change diapers. I expected to be thrown up on. I expected to get less sleep, push a stroller, and go to the playground. What I didn’t really expect was that I’d be riding the subway train with my son frequently for no apparent reason. Or that we’d be talking about trains throughout the day. Or that we’d have multiple subway maps taped to the walls of our home. I keep waiting for this “phase” to pass, but instead his knowledge of the subway simply becomes more sophisticated as he grows.
Tonight, he asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I told him, “I’m already grown up!” And he said, “no I mean when you’re like 55.” I said, “I’ll probably still be a photographer. What about you?” He said, “I’m going to drive a train. You should drive one too and then we can see each other every day.” ?
Sometimes when we’re on the train, he’ll call out, “Attention passengers, the next stop is Bergen Street [for example].” It’s like he’s actually in training to be a conductor.
Or when he’s being “silly,” he’ll say to me, “This is a Brooklyn bound 5 train. The next stop is York Street” Then I’ll say, “But the 5 train doesn’t go to York Street.” Then he’ll yell “I know!” and laugh hysterically.
I don’t know where this obsession is headed. Maybe he’ll become a conductor one day. But in the meantime, he lets me take his photo when we’re on the train or in the station, so it’s a win for me. And he can tell me how to get pretty much anywhere!