The boys and I have always loved riding on trains. Big trains, little trains. . . it doesn’t matter. We even ride the little kiddie trains at malls and festivals and things.
Or we used to. Once the kids grew to be big enough to be safe, I was no longer welcome on the little trains. Initially, my kids were outraged by this clear discrimination against adults, but I explained that the trains were for kids.
Then my oldest son started getting too big to ride.
That was a serious bummer. At the time, he clearly still wanted to ride, even saying things like “I don’t care what other people think.”
It didn’t matter. He was bigger than the maximum height bar. Not all train rides have one, but most do.
This past weekend, we discovered a little park with a Merry Go Round and a train. We immediately got in line for the train, and the kids started trying to convince me that I could ride.
Then we spotted the dreaded maximum height bar.
My oldest son’s shoulders slumped. “That’s it. I’m out, too. You go.”
“I don’t want to ride by myself,” his little brother said.
“There’s nothing we can do,” I said. “Just like there are some rides you’re too short to ride, we’re too tall to ride on this one.”
“Actually,” my oldest said, “are you sure you’re short enough?”
We checked, and he was just barely short enough, less than a quarter inch beneath the bar.
“Better go,” his older brother said. “This could be your last chance.”
“Until you have little kids of your own,” I added.
“Nah…” He looked back at the train, uncertain. “It’s no fun by myself.”