A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing a cherished childhood outing. I was standing in the lobby of the local cinema anticipating the arrival of my nephew who was celebrating his fifth birthday. We were about to see Paddington Bear and you could cut the excitement with a marmalade jelly knife.
As I waited, I reflected on how much I adored Paddington Bear as a child; the cuteness of a fluffy creature trying to make it in the real world, all of the oddities he would discover that seemed normal to any human and the complexity of fitting in. As a kid, I would have loved to explore the empty mall with him that night. As a crafty kid, I would have been his right hand bud, knowing how to sew buttons and all.
“Wait, that’s not Paddington” I realized as I raised my back off of the lobby wall. I totally got my bears confused and was remembering Corduroy Bear! Yes, he was the one that came to life in the mall and proceeded to loiter about after everyone had left for the evening! That bear got to be in a mall…at night! By himself! Just frolicking and lolli-gagging till his little plush heart was content!
Let’s face it, that book was depressing; cute, but depressing. I realized that as a kid, I liked it because I was obsessed with shopping. Living in the country, I cherished outings to the mall with my mom on those rare Sundays when the house work was done and Dad was watching football. The truth is, I was obsessed with it. And that’s why I liked Corduroy Bear.
I thought about other books I loved as a child and started to dig deeper on WHY I loved them. Below is a group of books that I have altered to reveal the truth behind the fascination, as five-year-old me saw it.
1. We all know this to be true over there.
2. I could make it in the woods, seems easy and fulfilling.
3. Feeling rebellious after bible class.
4. Dreams of braiding her hair, pillow fights, etc.
5. That tingling feeling you get when lost in a crowd.
6. And yes, there’s always this one.