My son has a train set that he loves, if it is not his most prized possession it is right up there.
He spends hours building tracks and running the trains around it. I love watching him play because I see the joy that it brings him and I am amazed at how a 3.5 year-old can be so proficient at constructing a professional looking train track. Sorry, had to kvell a little there.
The one problem with this is that he prefers to use the floor of his room to his train table as it gives him a larger area to work in. The issue is that this means that there are numerous obstacles in the dark that can hurt your feet or be broken.
I have tried to explain to him that leaving the trains on the floor is a recipe for trouble, but he refuses to accept it and I have backed off.
Primarily because I am so happy that he is so proud of his work. I cannot help but take pleasure in the joy he expresses as he plays. I come home from work and he tells me to change because “we are going to play trains and we have lots of work to do.”
Two nights ago I entered his room to kiss him goodnight and there was a sharp crack. In the dark I had stepped upon a bridge and broken it. His face was a combination of anger and sadness. He yelled “that is not nice” and began to cry.
That hurt as much as any punch or injury I have ever taken. I apologized and tried to make him feel better and I think that he did. But that didn’t fix the little red bridge or the spot in which I was wounded.
Both of us will be fine and there will be a new bridge soon. And life will continue, but it was a good reminder that although he may be little, some things are very important to him and deserve the same respect that we ask he give to other people’s possessions.