TRAIN BLOG (WSAU) Never has something so good come from being a brat.
It was the first day of summer vacation, and I was 8 years old.
I would usually spend the first few weeks of summer vacation at my Grandma’s house in our old neighborhood in Brooklyn. The trip would start with a train ride from Fairfield to Grand Central Station. Then a walk through the big station to the escalators down to the subway. You’d take the Number 7 train one stop towards Times Square. Then a long walk through the underground passageway to the old Independent Subway station at 42nd Street. Wait for the F-train, and take it for the long ride to Kings Highway. Grandma’s house was a three block walk from there.
Most summer vacations would start with me, my mother, and my younger sister making that train trip. We’d all spend a few days in the old neighborhood. Then mom and sis would go home, and I’d stay behind at Grandma’s place.
But on the morning of our trip, my mother had a bad summer flu. She was sick in bed, and my trip to Brooklyn was going to be delayed.
I whined. I cried. I tied everything an 8-year-old boy does to guilt their parents, including the classic line “If you really loved me….” My father would have none of it. “Get dressed,” he said. And he took me to the train station, and dropped me off.
8-years-old is young to navigate a train trip from Connecticut to Brooklyn. But I knew the way, and off I went. Two hours later I was at Grandma’s house.
And from then on, I could visit Grandma even on weekends when my family wasn’t with me. A few years later, I could go into New York by myself for all kinds of things.
I look at my children now, and there’s no way I’d turn them loose like that. They’d be terrified, and they’d get lost. They also wouldn’t whine like I did.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau