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Jan 11 / Caro

{Living Arrows} 1/52 – Trainspotting

I read about the Living Arrows project from I Heart Snapping a few weeks ago. Like many others, I can identify with the Khalil Gibran passage which lends the project its name. I loved the inspiration and the idea of the project. Then I promptly forgot all about it.

Until this week when the posts of others taking part began to pop up in my Twitter feed. I loved the idea all over again, and wanted to join in.

Then I sort of forgot about it again. It’s been a tough week of illness and stress. I’ve been busy. All the usual excuses.

Until Friday.

On Friday, Thomas was in the most immense grump. Another new tooth has put in an appearance. He’s been ill and lacking in sleep too. Leaving him at nursery, he cried for the first time in… Forever. I promised him I’d be back just as soon as I could and that we’d go to see trains. A promise that is enough to put a smile on my son’s face no matter what.

Every evening without fail, as we walk past the station on our way home from nursery, Thomas demands that I take him to see the trains. In fact, having patiently explained over and over again that we need a ticket to get in to the station, he now simply demands that we buy a ticket.

“I want to see a train Mummy. Buy a ticket.”

His wails of protest last all the way down the hill and around the corner to the point where we can see the tracks and the trains entering the station. Only then does he calm a little. And we repeat this routine each and every day that he goes to nursery.

But now that I take the train to work on Fridays, I have a train ticket. This simple fact means that I can access the platforms of our local station and take Thomas to see the trains.

When I picked him up on Friday, he asked immediately if we were going to see the trains. And when we got there, with him clutching the receipt for my tickets (“Thomas’s ticket!”), he was in heaven. He chatted away about where the trains were coming from and going to (“London Bridge” and “London Charing Cross”) and what colour they all were. He commented on the number of people getting off each train and declared “going now” and “bye bye train” each time the guard blew his whistle.

We spent a good 25 minutes on the cold platform and the smile never left his face.

It was when I snapped this picture, that I remembered the Living Arrows project.


I couldn’t help but think how perfectly this photograph fits.

My son is a train obsessive. I can’t pretend to understand what it is that gets him so excited about watching trains – in real life or via You Tube – for hours on end. But what I do know is that this is something he has discovered and come to love all by himself. It’s his self selected passion. When I watch him watching trains, I’m reminded of how rapidly he has developed his own unique personality and interests with very minimal influence from me. That whilst I can guide him and influence him to some degree, I am not in charge of the person he is now, nor the person he will become.

I, of course, love my little train spotter, and will always love him, no matter what he becomes.

living arrows


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  1. Chloe / Jan 11 2014

    I love Thomas!! Look how happy he is! This is me and Arlo all over. I feel exactly the same about the fact he’s already developed such an interest of his own. No idea what it is about trains, but it’s nice to know Arlo is not the only obsessive one ; )

    • Caro / Jan 12 2014

      I know – I’m so pleased I’m not the only person who has such an extensive knowledge of allthe available trainspotter videos on YouTube! I do love his passion though!

  2. Katie @mummydaddyme / Jan 11 2014

    Aw this is gorgeous and I love his hat. He looks so intrigued and interested in what is going on. x

    • Caro / Jan 12 2014

      Thank you 🙂 This is the only hat he will deign to wear and he throws a right strop if anyone tries to get him to wear a different one! The boy knows what he likes!

  3. Toby Goes Bananas / Jan 12 2014

    This is a lovely picture – he looks so interested in what’s going on. And having his own ‘ticket’ is so cute!

    • Caro / Jan 12 2014

      Ah, thank you 🙂 Tickets are a big thing at the moment. We have pretend tickets at home too. That and the idea of buying things seems to excite him. He has a play shop at home now, and loves going to the till when we go out shopping! It’s very cute.

  4. Carie / Jan 12 2014

    He looks like he’s about to burst from happiness – what a gorgeous picture!

    • Caro / Jan 12 2014

      Sometimes I think he will burst. He literally jumps up and down for joy, waving his arms, and makes this excited noise in his throat like he just can’t contain his enthusiasm and it’s bursting forcibly out of him!

  5. Hayley at Shutterflies / Jan 16 2014

    I love the story behind the photo and his fabulous hat! He looks so happy about his trainspot, I bet he loves that there’s a train that shares his name! x

    • Caro / Jan 17 2014

      Than you! He definitely loves Thomas the tank engine!

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