This week it’s Daddy’s turn.

He’s going to kill me for this picture. Sorry, honey, but this is one of those memories that’s going to be funny and sweet someday. He does own nicer sunglasses–in fact, he’s owned multiple pairs in our almost nine years of marriage. They just happen to be broken or impossible to locate at any given moment when they are needed. The only pairs that survive and are to hand, invariably, are the cheap rest-area purchases, the kind that you find after assessing the variously horrifying options available at the only store for miles when you’re on a road trip or at the beach. So this is part of our children’s childhood–and I do think it’s a pretty nice picture of him in spite of the sunglasses.

Over Labor Day weekend we spent a happy morning riding on ponies, a carousel, a haywagon, and a miniature train, and I brought home some nice pictures of Daddy and our small fry–along with plenty of shots of their rapt faces taking in the wonders. B reminded us frequently, and severely, that he “didn’t go there for a VERY long while.” We have been soundly chastised. Next summer, we go more often.

Girlie insisted on clinging tightly to Daddy’s hand on the carousel. It’s not a new experience for her, but I think she seized the opportunity to wrap her Daddy around her little finger. Literally.

What father could resist that pensive face and desperate grip?

Hold me,” she says to us piteously, when she really wants to wring our hearts. “Hold me.” We oblige, of course.

C is very serious about any ride. He’s probably figuring out how all this machinery works.

B thought life was grand–now that we had finally brought him somewhere fun, after such a dreadfully long time. I think he is quickly mastering the art of the guilt trip.

Don’t let go, Daddy.

I didn’t manage a picture of E on her pony ride because I was hurrying to keep pace beside her, but I caught some of the boys. I love C’s grip on the saddle horn, and his nonchalant expression.

B loved it–and even more fabulous than the ride was the fact that when he was dismounting, the pony peed. Guess what was the first thing he told his grandparents about the pony ride?

But by far the greatest thrill of all was the train. Here they are waiting for our second trip, solemnly discussing with each other the coming marvels.

Here it comes!

The train rounds the bend. This picture is for my kids, who will study it deeply. And then they will draw it.

Waiting to board. Her brothers have fully convinced her that trains are amazing.

B and I sat in the very first row. He soaked up the view.

E sat close to her Daddy.

As for C, the origin of all this train love in our family (well, it does go farther back–Opa is a lifelong enthusiast), he was in his element–map in hand and perched on a train seat next to Daddy.

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 The kids got their train fix, Mama got her photo-shooting fix and saw my babies ride a pony (I feel about horses the way they feel about trains), and we all traipsed around outside together. That was a good family day.

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