Gidday, ladies & gents! It’s nearing time to break out the heavy overcoats. Dear me…
Growing up, I was very fortunate to have a mother who utterly refused to let us use the phrase, “I’m bored!” How could we possibly be bored living on a farm with so much space? A craft/game cupboard that is overflowing? A ripe, young imagination that can take you to Neverland and back? And now, all these years later, I’m applying that way of thinking to my current job as an Au Pair.
Much to the horror of the sprockets.
One afternoon, while waiting for a train home at Wimbledon, I heard that terrible phrase.
“I’m bored!” Sigh. Something in me clicked, before I could protest or use my edit button, I asked, “Sweetie, could you please find me information on Platform 9 3/4?” Yep, my cheeky mode was now at 100%.
“Why?” she asked.
“I’ve heard it goes to a wonderful tourist spot, but I’m not sure about where exactly it goes.” Oh dear… Steph, what are you doing?
“Ok!” she smiled, and skipped along on her mission. Meanwhile, sprocket two was oblivious to the apparent evil that was seated next to him…
A whole five minutes went by quietly. I could see sprocket one running from one information board to the other, trying to help a Kiwi in a foreign land. And sprocket two was happily munching on his snacks.
“Steeeeeeph… I can’t find anything on Platform 9 3/4!!” She wailed. (For an apparent Harry Potter fan, I was a little disappointed in her…)
“Honey, who is the most famous wizard in England?” I asked, as she sat between her brother and I.
“Ummm… Harry Potter?” She sniffled.
“Yes! And where does he go to school?”
“Hogwarts…?” she began to look a little suspiciously at me.
“Correct! And what platform does the Hogwarts Express depart from, to get to Hogwarts?”
“Ummm… I’m not sure.”
“Platform 9 3/4!”
“Really?! Is that here? You mean, I can go??”
“Woah, honey! Slow down a minute. Yes, really. Hogwarts departs from platform 9 3/4. No, you can’t go just yet. You have to receive a letter on your eleventh birthday. And no. It turns out I got a little confused… It’s at Kings Cross Station. However! We can go there one day!”
“Really? Can we? Will we see Harry Potter? Will we….” And that light came back on in her eyes. Was brilliant to see her allow her imagination run away on her!
A few days later I was asked, “Why are you so tall?” Click! Cheeky mode was once again at 100%…
“Well, you see kiddies, I come from a country called New Zealand. Do you know where that is?”
Two little heads shook simultaneously.
“New Zealand is at the bottom of the earth, and gravity works a little differently there, because we are walking upside down. Due to gravity working differently there, we stretch. Which is why I am so tall.” Somehow I kept a straight face.
“Oh, ok.” And they continued drawing.
“Santa’s not real!!” I almost dropped the food I was cooking.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“Santa’s not real! So I’m NOT writing a letter to him!” Grumpy the dwarf has entered the building.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with that.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m fairly sure he is real.”
“Well, he isn’t.”
“Oh, I’m sure he is. Shall I tell you why I think this?”
“Every Christmas Eve we put out freshly baked – ”
“Cookies and milk for Santa, yes I know. Does’t make him real.” Arms folded, look of defiance in their eyes.
“Let me finish. Yes, we put out cookies and milk for Santa, we also put out a bowl of water and a few carrots for the reindeer, on the deck.”
“So, every Christmas morning, the cookies are mostly gone, just a few crumbs left. The milk too. AND the bowl, outside on the deck, is empty or upside down, and the carrots have HUGE bitemarks in them. How do you explain that?”
“Ummm… I don’t know.”
“Uh huh. Now tell me Santa isn’t real.” And I watched as they began imagining reindeer munching on carrots, while Santa eats the world’s best cookies and places presents under my family tree.
No, wait… That was me imagining that..
It’s fun being me!!