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: