I’m supposed to be writing an article about trains. Not just any trains, but luxury trains, like the Orient Express. Yes, there really is still an Orient Express. It didn’t disappear when Agatha Christie died. It zips about the European continent and reportedly has very good food. Hardly anybody ever gets murdered while aboard, Ms. Christie notwithstanding.
Mainly what I’ve learned about the Orient Express and other trains of its ilk is that they are mostly patronized by very old, very rich people. It costs a great deal of money to take one of those trips, and there’s a lot of sitting around in lounge cars, drinking and regaling one’s fellow passengers with ribald tales of one’s adventures.
I would like to take one of those trips, even though I am neither very old nor very rich, nor do I have much in the way of tales to tell. Would the Orient Express set like to hear about my kids or my jobs or…that’s it…all I’ve got to talk about. I’m thinking my politics wouldn’t go over well amongst the very old and very rich, so that’s out. I’d have to spend the whole trip in meditative silence. Nevertheless, I’d like to go. I have a thing about trains.
Speaking of getting old, my youngest child, little Little Bit, is twelve years old today. “I’m not a teenager yet,” she reassured me last night. She asked for three things for her birthday: a visit to the cat adoption center (just to visit—she knows we are not adopting any more cats, no matter how adorable), a raise in her allowance as befits her age, and an iTunes gift card so she can get some not-free apps for her iPod. That all seems quite reasonable.
Poll: how much money should a child of twelve get for a weekly allowance?
This weekend we will host a birthday party for LB. Since all of LB’s pals are in our mother/daughter book club, this will be a combined book club meeting/sleepover party. (Moms are not sleeping over, as far as I know.) That’s right, LB and her nerdy friends are going to happily have a formal book discussion at a birthday party. That’s just how we roll around here. Don’t worry—there will also be pizza and movies and cake baked by her big sister. Props, Tigger!
Happy birthday to my baby girl. Twelve is a major transition age for girls, and watching this one begin turning into a young woman will be gratifying. I will enjoy every little girl hug I can get in the meantime.