The Professor was teaching in Germany and No. 3 son, aged 18, was coming to spend Christmas with us. He was coming from England by train, or rather trains, as he had to change a couple of times.
We knew when his train was due; around 11pm. That was late (for us oldies), but we weren’t far from the station and would go to meet him. However, just before we left he rang us to say he’d missed the connection in Koln, but would be on the next train.
That one didn’t get in until midnight. Ho hum. We kept each other awake until time to go to the station again.
The train came in and people got off. No Peter! We looked everywhere carefully. No Peter!
Trains in Germany run to a tight schedule and seldom stop for more than a minute or two.
As luck would have it, this was a mail train so it stopped for a few more minutes while the mail was unloaded.
He must be on the train, we said to each other; he would have called if he’d missed this one. He must be on the train.
The Prof and a rather anxious Mother ran up and down the train looking in the windows; of course at that time of night most of the lights were out, so we couldn’t see many of the passengers.
I finally saw someone who might, just might be my son although he didn’t have on the large hornrimmed glasses he always wore. He was fast asleep. I banged on the window; luckily the elderly gentleman sitting awake next to him noticed my frantic gestures and poked the sleeping youth.
He got up groggily, pulled his suitcase off the rack and left the train, just before it got the whistle to depart.
After the hugs and welcomes, we discovered what nearly caused me to have second thoughts. While we had been away, the familiar hornrimmed glasses had been exchanged for contact lenses. What a difference a lens makes……
I was one thankful mother. If he had stayed on the train, he’d have ended up in Copenhagen!
The Prof, who was a relieved as I was, believes it was the mother’s radar that honed in on her son. Thank goodness for Mothers’ Radar.