I like to get up before the kids in the morning. I enjoy those minutes to myself where I can have a bowl of cereal, a cup of tea and, time permitting, a full and complete thought from beginning to end or, as is usually the case, just think of nothing.
Today was a usual day, usual but for the fact that it's my birthday. So the day began with my usual bowl of cereal, an unusual cup of coffee and an unexpected ninety minutes to sit on my front porch and enjoy the warm sunshine as the clouds broke apart and exposed brilliant pieces of blue sky.
Two little birds came to serenade me from the safety of the bird feeder hung from the tree in the front yard. There's also a red-winged black bird that comes to visit, but he seems to be a late riser and comes by for dinner. As a hobby, I don't think I would enjoy bird watching; trekking silently through underbrush to catch of glimpse of some rarely seen species just doesn't appeal to me, but I won't complain if they happen to stop for a snack while I'm drinking a coffee on my porch.
The kids woke up and we got them dressed and ready for an exciting day. I often take them, when weather permits, to the train station to meet Daddy. Today, we planned to take the train downtown and show Ty and Erin "the big rocket ship". It wasn't our idea to suggest the CN Tower is any kind of space worthy craft, but one day, Ty found a brochure kept from an excursion taken years go and stared at the photo in awe. When Daddy told him, "That's the CN Tower," Ty was adamant, "NO! THAT'S A ROCKET SHIP!!" So, we both willingly gave in and have continued to do so. Now that he was going to actually see it, there was no way either one of us were going to 'fess up.
With four minutes to spare, we caught the train at Bramalea and headed for downtown. The train "wiggled and jiggled" along the track while the kids stared out the window, their faces pressed against the glass.
We arrive at Union Station and are pounced on by a tour company selling advance tickets to all the popular attractions. Knowing the line-up for tickets at the CN Tower is time-consuming and painfully boring for a young child, we opted to spare ourselves double the pain and purchase advance tickets at the train station. Tickets and children in hand, we stroll off to our destination. The line-up for tickets at the tower was long, as expected, so we bypassed that bit of tedium and headed straight for the elevator. The operator was all too willing to grant our request to wait until Ty had completed the countdown before ascending.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!!
We were relieved that height is evidently not an issue for either child. They were in awe...suddenly they're looking over tall buildings, trains aren't any bigger than worms dug up in the garden, they can see the top side of a plane in flight! We found the glass floor and while Daddy coaxed Erin to walk across it, Ty spread himself - face down - over the glass and lay there like a sky diver in perpetual free fall.
After exploring the city from the cloud's point of view, we descended and headed back to Union Station for a bite of lunch at Harvey's. A staff member handed us two packages of crayola kits to amuse the kids. Erin demonstrated how a couple of carefully positioned french fries can be so much more entertaining than colouring.
Our big city tour continued with a ride on the train under our feet where the earthworms play, read "subway", and a ride on a streetcar to Daddy's work. I'm sure the kids believe Daddy works in the greatest place ever...there are buttons to push, fancy keys needed to open doors, lots of blinking lights, super huge television screens everywhere and everyone has the coolest toys! Buzz Lightyears and rockets, dinosaurs that dance, balls that click and jump all by themselves! Oh, and how could I forget the telephones...
Our day complete, we headed back to Union Station. We were barely on our way when the excitement of the day caught up with the kids. We packed the kids into the car and headed for home, but not before stopping for a coffee drink (ice-cap) on the way.
Tonight, when I tucked my tired little explorers into bed, I thanked them both for making Mommy's birthday such a special day. A day living through the eyes of my children, drenched with their excitement and wonder at each thrilling adventure and discovery.
It's my birthday, and it's been an incredibly fantastic day.