October 11, 2013

What Is It About Trains Anyway?

Little Man playing with Imaginarium train set OneQuarterMama.ca
Little Man playing with his new train set
Three people gifted the Little Man train sets for his birthday. Of course! Why not? They all know him so well. He loves trains and we have no problem with this.

Maybe he will be a train engineer, or maybe a train mechanic. Who knows? But we know this man loves his trains!

I used to watch Thomas and Friends as a kid also. I grew up with the ones narrated by Ringo Starr. I liked the stories, but I don't think I liked them for quite the same reasons. I like all the detail in the models and scenery. Looking at all those tiny replicated villages, with tiny cars and tiny people going about their day. I love the amount of detail enthusiasts put into that stuff.

It's also no surprise that many, many Autistic people like trains, so I finally asked my son what exactly is it about them that is so fascinating?

The Little Man told me they are strong. Yes, they are!

Then he also told me they are fast, and he made his visual stim motion where he moves his hands or a train in front of his eyes, closely and quickly. Ah ha! That visual of fast trains speeding by in front of you, which makes me dizzy trying to keep up, that's what he loves.

Then I remembered my childhood and how I used to hyperfocus on the smallest of things. I used to watch ants (my special interest was entomology) and observe closely. I could see their little antennae and eyes. And I realize now that detail is my visual stim. I've always had an eye for detail - still do - which is probably why I love editing. Then I realized how lucky I am to be in a job that stimulates exactly what I need and like. How's that for an interesting train of thought?

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