Are we too old for fairy-tales?

I am reading “Between the Lines” by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer. I am not ashamed to admit that as an adult I’m reading a teenage fairy tale. A book that some people would argue is not for someone my age and that I should be reading something else. Like the main character herself I am questioning the reason for reading a book that I really enjoy.

I decided on reading this book because I have never read anything by Jodi Picoult. So many of my friends have read her work and I don’t know why I never have. A while ago a friend of mine suggested that I read her books because she felt they were engaging. She thought that I would like her stories because people can relate to them.

In picking up a book that is essentially a fairy tale. You might be asking; can anyone relate to that? If we look back to when fairy-tales were first written. Most of them are quite gory, there are acts of cruelty, characters cutting body-parts up, etc. It has only been over time where fairy-tales have become friendlier or ‘disneyed’. The Disney versions do not appear to be relatable.

Fairy-tales are a place that begins in “Once upon a time” and ends in “They lived happily ever-after”. If I was generalising I would say that most girls dream of being a Princess and having their Prince come and rescue them. When we watch a Disney adaptation of a fairy-tale we are lead to believe that for 90 mins that if we wish upon a star our dreams will come true and we will be forever happy.

Do we grow out of this dream? Can this dream come true? If we live by good morals and work hard will we eventually be leading a happy life.

The first part of “Between the Lines” does start with “Once upon a time”. It continues for a while with other classic fairy-tale lines. As we delve into the story though it develops as a story of fantasy vs reality. Delilah the main female character is contemplating her life believing to be of a miserable one. She is captured by the fairy-tale she is reading because Oliver the Prince in the story is somewhat similar to her. Delilah and myself might as well be the same person or at least in some ways.

I have been captured by her story in a very similar way. I’ve grown up enough to realise the difference between feeling miserable and actually believing I have a miserable life. Thank goodness for that. At the age of 15 like Delilah though I thought differently. I’m very close to being ten years older than 15.

Because of this I’ve been reflecting a lot on who I was then and who I am now. This book couldn’t have come at a better time, really. It has landed in my lap at time when I most need it. It is reminding me that at 15 I had so many worries, I thought so badly of the person that I was, I cared too much about what other people thought. I didn’t really think I was going anywhere. It mostly came down to superficial “stuff”.

I used to think that the image I portrayed on the the outside was a reflection of who I was on the inside. That the clothes I wore, the house I lived in or the possessions I owned meant something. Most teenagers might be thinking that they feel as though their every movements are being watched. By not only their family and friends but even by strangers.

We grow up to realise that the majority of people on this planet have no idea who you are or that you even exist. Why would they care about the clothes you wear on your back? I wish I could tell my 15 year old self to chill out and relax. If I had a chance to be 15 again there are so many things I’d do differently.

I guess that is why I really like this book. It is an easy read and has taken my only a few days to nearly get to the end. But it is good because in its simplicity I have found a story where I can really see myself. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t intended to be read by adults. It doesn’t matter that it has fairy-tale like themes,etc. It doesn’t matter that what happens in this story would probably never happen in reality. What matters is that I have gotten something out of it… and that I’m sure other people have too.

Are we ever too old for fairy-tales?

Children are simply great!

A child at school told me I had a fancy haircut. I decided to cut my hair back to a really short hair-do. I could not bare to wait for it to grow out anymore. That same child over-heard me singing – told me I should be famous when I grew up… When a different child pointed out I was already grown. She said that she meant when I was a mummy. When I decide to not wear make-up she says I look tired. When I do wear it she says I look nice.

Children are great. They can be honest and don’t hold back on what they think. My little sister would tell me my hair cut makes me look a boy. 

Some children are very sweet – they bring you handmade presents. They can brighten up your day or even your week. I had a child bring me something she made, it looked like she had put in so much effort. She brought it to me after only being in aftercare for a day. As she gave it to me she said “this is because I had such a great time in aftercare”. I gave her a big thank-you and told her she made my week – truthfuly told as that week hadn’t been very good for me … I think that I have enough homemade presents from kids that I could make a collage out of them.

Sometimes I believe they are in their own bubble.

In observing how they play I see them become animals of all sorts, mothers, fathers, babies, fairies, kings, queens, knights, pirates, etc. They give themselves funny names, they live in all sorts of places. A pile of leaves can be a carrot stew for their bunny (soft toy). That same pile of pile of leaves can be biscuits for their puppy. 🙂

The playground becomes a fortress, a castle, a home or an obstacle course. They can predict people’s future in a game of “MASH”. A game like many that has changed and evolved since I was a kid… that’s for sure. I love how they all think they invented the games too. They were the first ones to play them and they know all the rules.

I have children at my school who try and tell me how to do my job. Some who even start doing for it me.

It is an odd place to be – before and after school care. 5-12 year olds mixed together for either a morning or an afternoon.They may not be friends at school. But here they come toegether, play together and eat together.

Children are just wonderful! Living in their own worlds. I sometimes wish we didn’t lose that as we grow up.

What about you? Is there something you miss from your childhood?

Signing off…to clean my room… I still haven’t grown out some old habits.

 

 

The annoying side to our online worlds…

So for about an hour now… I think.  I’ve been on Pinterest. You know that place that makes you feel like you’re being productive when really all you are doing is wasting away a perfectly good rainy day. The place when you can pin things on a virtual pin board and not have to worry about having a real one in the real world.

I have a real pin board or cork board or whatever you want to call it – it has I think one thing pinned onto it. One. My pinterest however has hundreds of pins – could you imagine what my kitchen where said pin board is – would look like if it was the other way round? I simply do not want to know! Ahhh the chaos. This is why I like/love pinterest! It makes for a uncluttered kitchen. Now if only there was something out there that did the same for my bedroom… which is pretty much the opposite – oops!

However, there is one thing I do not like about our online worlds. Having to subscribe to nearly every site just simply so I can browse it is frustrating. When doing so you start to receive email upon email. In these emails they contain promotions, deals, sales, new items, etc that gets added to the site. If I wanted to find this information out I would direct myself to the website!

I do not want a cluttered inbox of emails that I don’t read. All I want to be able to do is browse a site with clothes/home-wares/stationery/most anything else… be inspired to be more productive, creative, to make things myself, arty, possibly buy things, have ideas for blogging, cooking, etc.

I do not want to be a member of those websites unless I am actually interested in doing so!!

Besides anything that I am a member of by choice I usually lose interest after about the 5th or 10th email because it just seems to be the same old stuff. Being a member to me only really helps to make online purchases easier. It doesn’t help in any other way. I’m sorry to say.

I think the online world’s job is to make life easier not more frustrating… All I wanted to do was look at some amazing bed linen… that’s it! But guess what? The site asked me subscribe and stopped me from going further.

Signing off… deep in frustration. 😛