{This is an account of the only time I have ever taken a train trip. Enjoy.}

As a child my mom stuffed me and my two older brothers into train seats headed north. Apparently, she was convinced the trip from Orlando to New York with three young children couldn’t possibly be long enough to require the sleeper car we couldn’t quite afford. The trip north went off without a hitch We stopped to visit the most magical (and free) children’s museum I’ve ever been to. Thankfully, the stopover in Raleigh tired the three of us out enough a peaceful trip the rest of the way to New York. Plus, we were all so excited to be traveling by train, to be heading toward family and to be on a grand adventure.

Because the first route had gone so well, my mother, still pressed for funds, climbed aboard the train home believing it would go as well. Since I was much too young at the time to remember the details of the trip, it was only recently that I learned how the story ended.

My mother was utterly exhausted from a week visiting family and caring for three young children. By the time we loaded into our seats, there wasn’t an ounce of energy left in her small, determined body. By her account, she admits to giving us money to go to the dining car while passing out in her seat. An innocent enough movement in a time where people were still very trustworthy (the 80’s).

However, when we came ravaging back down the aisles, she told us to go play so she could continue to rest. She then told the other passengers that she didn’t know who those rambunctious children belonged to. She even admitted to moving to another car once we were ready to be still, avoiding the explanation involved in confessing her fib. Today, she recounts the story with a bit of defensive embarrassment, making sure to add that it’s the only time she has ever disowned us.

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