I was watching Bed knobs and Broomsticks with my son on Wednesday. Yes I know my son is only five months old, and yes the term ‘watching with’ is probably not entirely true, but I have waited my whole adult life to share my childhood delights with my son OR daughter and I can’t wait any longer. He’s finally here now so they are going on. END OF.
Anyway so ‘WE’ were watching Bed knobs and Broomsticks (He has also been subjected to Annie (yes I know he’s a boy), sleeping beauty (see last comment) and Pete’s Dragon.) and during this particular scene on the bed, yer woman started singing about the ‘age of non-believing’.
She explained (through the medium of song and dance(badly)) that the age of non believing is that in-between age a child reaches when they are not sure what is the truth and what isn’t. The age they begin to question tales they have whole-heartedly believed in all their lives. Tales such as Father Christmas, (Why is his Reindeer called Rudolf mum? Why not Graham?) The tooth fairy, (why does she only leave me 50p mum? When she leaves Sarah next door a pound?) Mickey Mouse. (He has such big ears mum, his cu-tips must be huge!) The Age, that SADLY, the believing stops.
I looked over at Addison (who was OBVIOUSLY engrossed in the prancing, dancing and knob turning on screen) and it struck me how sad a time this must be for the parents. Almost like the end of an era? Obviously it’s the start of a great new era too. (before I reduce all the mums with 10 year olds to tears)
I remember this time as a child. (it was only about 10 years ago…ahem) I remember asking my mother at least twice a day leading up to Christmas if Santa was real. I think I knew deep down at this point, the answer to this question, and I remember feeling that as much as I wanted her to tell me the truth and confirm my friends were in fact right, he didn’t exist. I also desperately wanted for her to tell me they were wrong. That Santa was SO real. That she would prove it! That the tooth fairy was in her pocket! Here, look! HOW DARE YOU DISBELIEVE! And that Mickey and the princesses were of course real. Look at the films made about them!
I think I was about 11 when my ‘age of believing’ was finally put to the test. It was my brother who finally broke the news while my dad was hiding in the bedroom. (My dad couldn’t handle the end of the era. He still refuses to accept I know the truth and every year we will still talk about Santa coming down the chimney. It’s our ritual) I remember asking my Brother Jason, is Santa real? To which, and I will remember this forever, he replied. ‘If Santa was real I’d be driving a Lamborghini now instead of a ford escort.’ I remember responding in very clipped tones, that he had the wrong man. That if he wanted a Lamborghini, it was JIM‘LL FIX IT not Santa, that sorted that stuff out. But I remember feeling gutted too. So that was it. Santa wasn’t real. Which in effect meant the tooth fairy was probably guff too.. But Mickey? Surely Mickey was real…
I think ‘the age of believing’ is waaaayyyyy too short lived. (which is perhaps why I ended up working as Mickey Mouse later in life but that’s another blog altogether.) It’s with a sinking heart I answer my nieces endless questions about the logistics of him visiting every home in one night. (Santa not Mickey) It’s on the internet now you know?! They map him! Anyways.. Because I know in a couple of years their ‘age of believing’ will be tested.
I also whole heartedly believe every child deserves the right to experience this age of KNOWING Santa is coming, of KNOWING the tooth fairy visited and TALKING OF MICKEY and MINNIE as living beings. I don’t judge parents who do, but I just could never be a mother who always told the truth. (Addison will be 20 and ill be creeping in to his house to plant prezzies!) because childhood is so short lived. Childhood should be treasured. SO this finally brings me to my point (phew I hear you say), I guess we all get to re-live our childhood. Through them. HOW EXCITING!! And my main point (god its like lord of the rings isn’t it…)
When I was five. I was brushing my teeth. I heard Santa’s bells. I HEARD them. I leapt in to bed, pressing my eyes shut and quivering with the sheer excitement of it. Telling my teddy that tonight was the night, tonight he was coming. Its those memories I want to pass on. And for that reason maybe the bed knobs lady is wrong. Maybe there is an ‘age of questioning beliefs’ but does anyone ever REALLY stop, fully believing in fairytales? Because we pass our belief on to our children. And through them the belief resurrects and continues to live on..
OOOOOOOOOO I cant wait for Christmas!!! Talc snow footprints in the lounge!! … what do you mean he’s too young?? Its happening! END OF!!