July 29, 2000
Each year at Christmas, our house is filled with decorations. It is the one holiday that we go all out for. There is the 10 foot Christmas Tree, 3,000 lights in the yard and on the house, what seems like hundreds of gifts for family and friends, and of course an LGB train. The train is really the focal point as far as the kids are concerned. I originally bought the train when Trina and I first got married. It is nearly 20 years old but it is in perfect condition. Well, almost perfect condition. There were those couple of times when the throttle stuck wide open hurling the train and its little plastic engineer across the room bashing the little dudester’s arm off. It is because of this that all new trains are equipped with seat belts for all passengers I believe. The train only comes out at Christmas time. At all other times of the year, it is stored in its original packaging under our bed. The kids anxiously await the first of December when the tree and the train come out. We leave the train up the entire month of December then it is put away until next year. Today, Dakota and I were up in my room watching as the Diamondbacks lost to the Florida Marlins on the poor pitching by Byung-Hyun Kim and the fielding errors by Danny Bautista. Dakota had become less than interested in the game after the Diamondbacks went behind and began exploring the bedroom. He happened to crawl under the bed and came across the train. He of course wanted to get it out and set it up to play with. I tried to explain to him that we only got the train out for Christmas. He shook his head and left the room. A few minutes later, he came back into the room with Trina in tow. He was telling his mother that it was Christmas and time to get the train out. We began to explain to him that it was not yet Christmas but he was positive that it was. It is difficult for a three-year-old child to understand the concept of time and dates. I tried desperately to help him understand when Christmas would be here. I first tried telling him the kids had to go back to school before it would be Christmas. That pacified him for only a couple of minutes. He was certain that the kids were already in school so he persisted. I then explained that the weather had to change and it would be cold when Christmas arrived. He ran down stairs and began feeling outside to determine if it had cooled down. Within a half hour, he was back insisting it was indeed colder than it was yesterday. Finally I explained that it would not be Christmas until after the World Series was over. Now that he understood. From that point, he ceased asking to put up the train. In the off chance that I am wrong and it is Christmas, I want Santa to know that I have been a good boy and I would like a left-handed right fielder who can hit for power to help the Diamondbacks down the stretch run to the playoffs. Oh yeah, and a remote control car. That would be cool.