Last trolley ride of the season

antique trolley

Antique trolley operated by Malmö City Railroad Museum Society MSS

One Saturday two years ago, realizing we were burning precious daylight, we began what I call the Big Push Out as getting my daughter out of the house remains one of my biggest challenges.

Once out we tend follow her freewheeling, impulse-laden agendas. So setting our to-do-list before helps avoid the manic downswing that is a child disappointed by the inability to meet one of the often hidden agendas.

At this stage I’d agree to anything short of schlepping over to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Amusement Park or getting a dog.

After weighing her options, she chooses a duck feeding session in Kungsparken.

I risk creating a potential fail by adding a trolley ride to our agenda.

As it is late mid-September, a strong possibility exist this antique trolley operated by Malmo City’s Railroad Museum or Malmö Stads Spårvägar Museiförening MSS will be done for the season.

Old #3 runs past old Malmöhus

Old #3 runs past old Malmöhus

Old #3 runs past old Malmöhus
Yet I can’t resist sharing my love of trains. My dad, a retired railway worker, often took us to Philadelphia’s’ freight yard on weekends to ride the diesel engines.

After the duck feeding we begin playing ‘finding an orphaned animal in the park.’ My daughter locks into her role as the baby animal deeper than a method actor. All attempts to break the spell fail until I spot the trolley.
We abandon our play, make a run for it and just miss it.
Now, I realize I’ve broken our golden rule “ Don’t put anything on the plate that can’t be taken off.”

And think to myself “ Steven, you created this storm.”
My daughter refuses to accept that we missed the final trolley run, countering this reality with her mantra “ I believe, Dad, I believe.”
I realize along with the extra layers of clothes, snacks, drinks and sun cream, I should have packed our tent as well.
Yet after 15 minutes, sure enough it comes rolling toward us.

“See Dad I knew it, I believed, see.”

We pay the conductor; I hold on to the ticket as a souvenir, a symbol to commemorate the day the relentless certainty and tenacity of my strong willed child trumped my natural tendency to accept failure and fold up my tent and go home.

Swimming in her victory, she glows even brighter after the conductor admits this is indeed the last ride of the season.

“See, Dad, you thought it was over but I knew. I believed Dad.”

“Yes, you did.”


I snuggle in with her as we look out the window.



In this well-preserved historic cocoon, surrounded by Malmö Castle and the historic fish market, we watch the conductor jump out and switch tracks by hand. With this, one can’t help but imagine what the past might have looked and even smelled like a kinesthetic history if you will.

The trolley, now shunted into the sidetrack by the Malmö’s Technical Museum, comes to its final stop.
Greatly satisfied, I stand to exit yet my daughter balks.

“No dad it’s going to go again.”

“No, Anja it’s done, it won’t go again.”

“Yes it will. I believe.”

Now I’m stuck in a trolley with Kevin Costner’s character from The Field of Dreams.

I realize she needs to complete the circuit and end this ride where we began, an expectation kept to herself until now.

Just as I almost ruin this perfect moment with my own adult temper tantrum or ATT, the conductor returns and our journey continues.

“See dad I believed.”
Over the rattle of the trolley’s wheels,
I swear I hear the sound of my cynicism being smothered by the optimism of my daughter.

As we arrive at our starting point, we exit the trolley.

Yet now I see we’ve both achieved our agendas, she succeeded to ride the trolley beginning to end and I succeeded continuing a family tradition.

Now, circuits completed for both we make our way happily home.

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