Gideon peered at me slyly from across the room. His hands were stuffed in his oversized pants, and his head was turned to the side as he was fighting to hold in a grin.

I watched him patiently, waiting for him to decide what to do next, trying not to rush him.

Finally, he took a deep breath and quickly padded up to me. He leaned close and whispering quietly, “Would you like to see a secret?” He glanced over his shoulder to make sure no one else was watching.

“Yes, Gideon,” I said, trying to match his conspiratory tone. “I love secrets.”

A smirk broke along the one side of his mouth and he fished around inside one of his pockets with both of his hands. “Well… me have a special thing.”


“Yep.” He bowed slightly and held a well-worn coin up in front of my face. “It’s a special coin, because here-” he flipped it over and angled it my direction, “on this side it has a TRAIN on it.”

I nodded, “Oh wow. A train. Neat.”

“Yep, and-” He leaned close again and said quietly, “And we are going to ride a train for my birthday this year. Because me won tickets!”

“That’s right, Gideon. You won tickets to ride the train.”

He smiled at the tiny coin that filled his tiny palm. And then he frowned slightly down at it and said, “But me not understand how people get on this train…” he shrugged. “Because this train not have any doors…”

I ran my fingers through his curls, “Well. Don’t worry about that, little man. Our train will definitely have doors on it. This train,” I pointed, “it was probably just designed for one person at a time. One really really really big person.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the coin he was holding was a penny, and his “train” was the Lincoln Memorial.