"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thomas & Percy

They found a new fascination a couple of weeks ago,

Pulled out an old cardboard box,

Covered all over with my marker scribblings,

Remnants of earlier years.

In the box were wooden pieces,

Bits of connectible wooden track.

She decided to try to put them together.

He was playing, she was still building

When I walked in.

I started to help,

Ended up building a whole new track,

Which eventually was replaced by another new track,

And another.

I built them Duplo stations and a long overhead,

Played with the layout's complicated switches to make sure the trains could go the right way.

They started asking me every day,

More than every day,

Literally five times a day,

To come play with them.

Still learning my lesson,

I tried to answer yes,

Tried to leave behind all the unchecked items on my to-do list,

Tried to spend precious time with these precious ones.

It wasn't always easy,

Especially when I'd been up until 2 A.M. printing papers and burning CDs,

But I did try,

Because I love them

And because I remember.

I remember the hours I spent playing with that very track,

And the hours that someone else spent playing with me.

Very shortly after I started writing again,

I wrote some songs about my childhood,

Songs about things I used to do when I was little.

One was about the hours spent playing with that track,

The hours he spent playing with me,

A story based on the fading memories of those happy times

And the video evidence I've seen of those many hours,

Videos recorded when I was only three years old.

Thomas & Percy (Playing Trains With Daddy)

I wanna play trains, Daddy.
Will you please build the track?
If you get out the box,
I'll help you unpack.
And will you please play with me,
I don't wanna play alone,
And I wanna spend some time with you,
While you are home.

I'll be Thomas and you can be Percy,
I'll go left and you go right,
I don't think I've ever had this much fun
In my entire life.

You say, “lay the track like a string,
Remember both ends must connect.”
I never realized that before,
Now I can build a track.
And now the track is finished,
The trains are lined up in a row.
I don't care if I get carpet burn,
I'm ready to play, let's go.

Now I am Thomas and you are Percy,
I go left and you go right,
And I know I've never had this much fun
In my entire life.

And later when I go to bed
And you kneel at my bedside,
I will thank God for the chance,
To play trains with you tonight . . .

When I was Thomas and you were Percy,
I went left and you went right,
And I never had that much fun before
In my entire life.
No, I never had that much fun before
In my entire life.

Definitely not the best song I've ever written,

But one that is precious to me

Because it reminds me of when I was little,

When my daddy used to play trains with me,

Spending hours building tracks

And crawling around on the floor playing with me.

It reminds me how much he loves me,

How he cares for me so deeply,

And that is so very precious.

I am so blessed.

I've spent hours these past few weeks crawling around on the floor,

Rubbing knees and elbows raw,

Spending time with these little ones I care about,

Trying, and often failing, to be a good sister,

And remembering my own childhood,

Hours spent playing trains with Daddy.

The bold, italicized words are the lyrics to the song "Thomas and Percy (Playing Trains With Daddy)" by Mary Schieferstein, ©2010 Mary Schieferstein.


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