Toooooooooooooot! Hiss! Groan. Creak. Hiss. Groan. Creak. Chug. Chug. Tooooooot, tooooot!
Thomas is leaving the station; for the last time. It's bittersweet. So many of our memories are intertwined with Blue #1.
The boys made their own stations out of boxes. They taught me that even little engines can do big things.
We had Thomas-themed birthday parties. I'll never forget staying up late to bid on the turn-table for Jack's birthday. We even met Big Blue himself in Globe. We got to ride across Shake, Shake Bridge as all the passengers yelled "push Thomas, push!".
A random engine in my purse served as physical therapist when Jack was in the hospital.
Although there is probably a total of over $500 worth of train pieces, the boys have been good about buying most of it themselves. They save their Christmas and birthday money. They sell other toys at yard sales, only to turn around and spend the money on Thomas.
And that's how it started. Or ended.
The boys came to me two weeks ago and told me that they wanted to sell all their Thomas stuff. Fizzling Fireboxes! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They have been faithful Thomas fans for over 3 1/2 years. And just like that, they wanted to sell it all.
We have sold items online before. But never a 27 pound box of over 230 pieces of track, stations, engines, etc! They were not daunted. They organized the whole set so I could take pics. They researched other sets online and set a price just slightly below the competition. And then they waited.
Today, we received word that after a small bidding war, Thomas sold.
As Thomas chugs out of the station for the last time, we don't cry. We know that he is traveling to another station. A station where a little boy waits excitedly for his arrival. He's standing on the platform. Leaning over, looking down the track, hoping to see a glimpse of smoke from the stack.
Toooooooooooooooot! Tooooooooooooooooooooooooot! Chug on, Thomas. Chug on.