My life has been ruled by a train schedule since September of 2004. That’s nearly eight years of riding the rails to and from DC every week day. The train can be a little frustrating sometimes, but for the most part I have loved my train ride into work each day.
It’s a forty-minute ride each way, during which I completely surrender control. I am not driving the train, manning the switches, or deciding which train can pull into which platform at the station. I am simply sitting; I am one single passenger among the many. I abandon control the minute I step into the vestibule in search of a seat.
But first, I have to catch that train.
Crap! I slept in! Must shower! What should I wear? Someone wake the baby! Make-up or none? Ponytail it is! Did I pack Laura’s lunch last night? Laura – get your shoes on now! Waffles or french toast. LAURA – waffles or french toast! PICK ONE! Get in the car! Mommy’s late! Walk a little faster sweetheart! Mommy has a train to catch!
That’s where I stopped myself this morning. Yes, I did have a train to catch. I also had a little girl whose mother had snuck into her room after a late night at work for one sleepy hug. I had a little girl who just wanted to wear leggings like mommy, instead of the jeans she already had on. I had a little girl who just wanted some milk, even though all her sippy cups needed to be washed. I had a little girl who needed a few more hugs, a few more assurances that mommy would be back after nap.
So I took a minute to switch Laura into leggings. I took another minute to wash a sippy cup and fill it with milk. I took a third minute for some huggies. A fourth minute for assurances. A fifth for still more huggies. I missed a train.
But there was another train along in 15 minutes. I had plenty of time to catch that one. And had I needed more minutes for more huggies, there would have been another train along 20 minutes later still.
There are never enough huggies in the world. There is always another train.