Today marks a special day for me after three months and six days. Finally, I get to meet my beloved son, Arad. It hasn’t been easy due to the disputes with his mother, but I pushed through legal procedures to make this moment happen. I left Sankt Valentin and arrived at Tulln train station to reunite with him on October 22nd.

Arad had a plan – he wanted us to take a slower train that stops at all the stations. His suggestion led us to Sankt Pölten, the capital of Lower Austria. I realized that he had a preference for the scenic route. It warmed my heart to see him again after such a long time.

We decided to visit a bowling club in Sankt Pölten (Arads suggests), as Arad enjoys the game. We’d been there before, and he remembered that we should take the bus. It was a great choice, as we got to enjoy some quality time playing together.

I’m delighted to see that my son is healthy and happy. Arad is doing well at school, and he introduced me to his teacher and friends. He told me that he’s at school in the mornings, and in the afternoons, he stays at the daycare center until his mother picks him up. He’s still not allowed to come home alone.

As we journeyed, Arad tried to learn the names of the train stations. He looked at the board inside the train and connected what he heard (from train speakers) to what he saw. He even brought me a thoughtful gift, including two empty boxes of colored pencils – he saidI can fill them with my own pencils – and a lovely photo of himself at school, and a drawing book filled with beautifully drawn bears engaged in activities that kids do at school. It’s moments like these that make it all worth it.

Arad was so eager to share his school experiences. He told me that they draw, sing, and learn the alphabet. But the highlight for me was when he taught me to write “Mama” and “Papa.” Those little hands, guiding mine, felt like a precious gift.

In Sankt Pölten, we found ourselves at a restaurant, and there we sat, sharing a meal like old times. But, oops, we were an hour early for the bowling club! Sunday’s bowling fun didn’t kick off until 2:00 PM. So, we seized the moment and headed to a nearby park. The day turned into an unforgettable adventure with Arad as my guide.

We played all sorts of games – searching for oak tree fruits, flower or pooch, and various children’s games. To my amazement, Arad was the undisputed champion, winning every round. The park visit also gave us a treasure trove of beautiful photos, capturing the joy of father and son having the time of their lives.

Then it was finally time to hit the bowling club. They had a special setup for kids with rails that kept the ball on the lane. Arad used this to his advantage and triumphed with a big smile. Let me tell you, losing to my son was the sweetest defeat I’ve ever experienced. The true victory was watching him enjoy every moment, carefree and happy.

As our day drew to a close, we headed back to Tulln. No long goodbyes, just a hopeful “see you again soon” between us. Arad hopped off the train and ran into his mother’s embrace. It was a bittersweet ending to a day filled with love, joy, and cherished memories. 🚂💕

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