The title makes this sound fancier than it is–which is a holiday train show at the New York Botanical Garden, at night.
When I was around 7 or 8, my parents took my siblings and me to a train show at the IX Center in Cleveland. We–my older sister and I–hated it. My brother may have liked it, but he was probably too young to remember much of it, and my younger sister was definitely too young to care. We complained about it in the car on the way to it, we complained about it while walking around looking at the displays, and we complained about it once we had finally been removed from the “torture.” It was the most boring thing we, 2 girls at the ripe ages of 7 and 10, had ever experienced in our lives. To this day, we joke about the train show as if it were the most hideous injustice parents could force their offspring to endure.
Which was why, after I got back from the train show last night, I texted my sister and called my mom to tell them I had gone willingly.
“Hahahaha,” was my sister’s reply.
“Why?” was my mother’s.
Because of course my sister understood that being made to look at some train displays that may not especially interest you on a Sunday when you have absolutely nothing better to do is not actually the worst situation you could possible be in, and we had obviously been exercising our right as silly children to make our parents feel bad about trying to do something fun with us.
But my mother could only remember the hassle her children had given her for attempting to take them to an out-of-the-ordinary event as a family, and so even now, 20-some years later, she couldn’t imagine her daughter had matured to the point where she might actually appreciate such an activity just for the festiveness and change of pace.
For the first time, I felt ashamed for being such a pain about the train show.
It’s okay though. If I ever have children, I guarantee I’m the type to drag them to “fun” activities all the time, so I’m sure I will experience my share of childhood tantrums over forcing them to do “boring” things.
In the meantime, I’m sorry, Mom.