We had Thanksgiving dinner today at R's parents' house, with two of his brothers, his two sisters, and the youngest sister's children, who are 9, 7, 5, and 3 years old, respectively.
The 5-year-old, Ryan, is a fiend for trains. Two years ago at Thanksgiving my sister-in-law asked each child what he was thankful for. The oldest said "God." The second said, "My sister, Sarah, because she is so sweet." Ryan, who was 3 then, said, "Trains."
So today he and I sat together and looked through a picture book telling the story of the Nutcracker. We looked at all the pictures and talked about them. Each page had a pull-out and we had to work those. He was very interested and enthusiastic. Then we got to the last page. He looked at it in bemusement and said, "Where are the trains?" I said, "I don't think there are any." "Oh, man!" What a waste, you know, he had sat through the entire book for nothing. Then he remembered his manners - all these kids are excruciatingly polite - and told me it was a very nice book. And then he left it without a backward glance.
I wonder what Ryan would have fixed on if he had been born before there were trains.