When traveling with a toddler
you should not prepare her to sleep by taking away her nap.
She will only blink at you with a suspicious smile.
Did you pack her blanket? books? color pencils? her sheep and bee-bear?
I was so tired you know
I will just talk to her.
I tell her about how Santa Claus had to catch a plane, hitchhike, and ask a skier then a rock climber to take him to his last stop, a boy named Harvey who lives on the top of the Roli poli Mountain. Her eyes turn inward focused on the pictures stored somewhere in her brain. How she loves to hear the names she knows. Socks, bicycle, boat, sleigh, medicine, reindeer, and present.
Train passing through the center of a journey.
Her feet are busy jumping from a lap to lap. Like a restless cat she rubs her head on the cover of a seat. Her weight against my belly where an infant pushes out from inside. The only barrier between the world of not yet and ours is a layer of fat
pushed and pinched. I know here I exist
here with my children taking me on a train ride.
Three times faster than a car
Less than three hours to the end of a peninsula
Little heart engine of hers.