My Son is Gone on the Train to Independence

Train tracks to indepdence

The route to independence.

There comes a day when it’s time for children to move on and be independent. You know forge their own path and make their own way.

As parents we know this day is coming from the moment our child is born.  However, most of us probably don’t expect this momentous day to come just after our child’s 7th birthday.

Well, SJ, my 7-year-old is ready for his independence. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t wait to leave the house.

In fact, he woke up yesterday at 6 a.m. (his usual) and made a packing list. He wanted to make sure he was ready to go.

Okay, okay SJ was taking the train to his grandmother’s and spending a few days there before returning next week. However, it is still the longest he will be away from his brother, my wife, and I.

And he was bursting with excitement.

SJ excited to get away

SJ is so excited that he doesn’t know what to do with himself.

In fact, SJ has been telling everyone he sees about this trip for the last week. This includes the after school ladies, the group leader at the synagogue, the barber, and the ticket collector on the train. Of course, he also told all of his friends and any other kid that would listen.

I am happy for SJ or El Macho Deathfire Macho Man which he informed me was his new wrestling name. Don’t ask – this little one is a character. For now, I’ll still call him SJ.

When I was young, I took mini vacations to my grandmother’s apartment. Nanny (that’s what her grandchildren called her) and I would go food shopping. I was happy to be her helper as I felt like I was doing a nice thing. She would make all my favorite foods. Nanny would take me to the movies, and we would eat pizza. We also played Rummikub. The calm easy tempo of her house was a nice respite from the kinetic energy that was the house inhabited by four boys in which I grew up.

Mostly, Nanny and I bonded. She told me stories about her growing up. She told me about my mother when she was young. Nanny answered all my questions, and I asked A LOT of questions.

And that is what I want for SJ. I want him to spend time with his grandmother at her house where it is just the two of them.  I want him to bond with his grandmother. I hope he will also see other members of the family and have a chance to shine.  They can get to know what a character he is.

SJ is definitely ready to go. Besides the bonding time, he simply wants to get away, “I need a break from my brother.”

Packed on the train platform

SJ packed and ready to go on the train.


Train window being fogged up.

SJ fogging up the train window while he examines the landscape.

Passing the time on the train.

SJ on the train playing his Kindle. He was struggling to pass the time.

So, this morning, he and I took the NJ transit train to Trenton. SJ was a bundle of gleeful energy, “I can’t sit back. I’m too excited.” When we reached the station, he ran to his grandmother, ready to be on his own.

Meeting at the train station.

SJ and his grandmother at the train station.

Have fun El Macho Deathfire Macho Man. Enjoy the bonding and independence. Just know we will be calling even though we respect your independence.

P.S. BR’s first trip to his grandmother’s:

20 thoughts on “My Son is Gone on the Train to Independence

  1. Independence is a condition children walk into when parents still think it’s their territory. Let him discover… 🙂 He’ll be doing all right. 🙂

  2. It is a strange feeling watching your kids become ready for, and crave, independence. Both my boys each separately spend a week at their Grandmother’s house last summer. While I worried that they would miss me or become homesick or not be able to sleep in a different place, they ended up having no real worries and had themselves a great time. They are looking forward to doing it again this summer.

    Good for you for letting him go!

    • I am glad he is at my mother’s. I know he will have a good time and it is good for him. He is growing up and it’s natural. It’s also natural to miss him.

      P.S. I was just thinking that I had not heard from you in a while. So glad you checked in. How is the teaching going?

      • It is going really well. I am enjoying it and learning a lot. It is very time consuming, however. Also I am gearing up for the edTPA, a high stakes portfolio of sorts that requires me to provide evidence to prove that I should be a teacher. In two short months, I will be done with the edTPA and my student teaching. Of course then there is the resume and interview process, but one step at a time…

        I miss blogging and reading blogs – glad I was able to pop over and catch up.

  3. So very awesome! When my sister and I were younger, we were only about 45 min from our grandparents so one weekend I’d stay with my grandparents and my sister would stay with our great-grandparents – the next weekend we would switch! When Lee was older, my grandparents would come visit for the 4th and take Lee back with them for a week and then mom and dad would go pick him up. Those times we had one on one with our grandparents were/are just the best. I moved closer to my parents just so Mr. T could have that time and bond with them. I’m so happy for your boys and the time they get away and to bond.

    • That’s cool that you go to enjoy your grandparents and great grandparents.
      I hope T enjoys being close to his grandparents.

  4. There’s nothing like riding the rails! LOL!

    I remember the first time I went anywhere without my parents. Sadly, it was only to Pittsburgh. My sister and I did take our first plane ride, though. That was exciting!

    • I remember my first plane ride too. I was so thrilled I could hardly contain myself. It was one of the most exciting things I ever did.

  5. Reading this makes me regret not ever having had a relationship with my grandparents. I think that would have also required a stronger relationship with my parents. I think that’s one of the great parts of having children I can try and build the kind of relationship with my kids that I never had. And they luckily have the opportunity to spend lots of time with both sets of their grandparents! It’s not the Brady Bunch way I would want it to be, but I’ll wait until I’m the grandma to institute family dinner nights, etc.

    • We definitely get an opportunity to right some of the wrongs or change some things with our kids. I hope some day your kids will bring their children to you and they can talk about how exciting it is to visit grandma.

  6. I have many happy memories visiting with both of my grandmothers. You’re right about what you called the tempo of their homes. So peaceful and easy.

  7. That sounds very exciting for SJ. I hope he had a great visit.
    My mother’s parents passed when I was young and my dad’s parents traveled a lot so I didn’t have a close relationship with either set of grandparents. Things are different for my kids. My mother has lived with us since my oldest was born. When Alexi was 2 1/2 he decided to run away from home. I watched him drag his favourite stuffie and his blankie downstairs to my mom’s area and knew he’d be safe. Mom is always here and my kids would be lost without her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *