As a seasoned parent-volunteer at school, I can tell you that being around children makes you feel young. They may ask lots of questions, but mostly, it’s in trying to answer them that you remember your own youth and innocence. On the way to today’s school excursion to “Out of the Box” at Southbank, I had the good fortune of sitting next to a little boy who is as excited about ancient Egypt as I am.
He said, pointing to the huge poster of the exhibition as the bus went past, “I’m going to that. There are lots of mummies in there.”
“I bet you’ll have a lot of fun,” I said. “I’ve taken Amanda to see them in Melbourne and she loved them.”
“How many mummies were there?”
“Just one, but we got to see what ancient Egyptians use in their day to day lives. Do you know that mummies are dead people?”
“OOOhhh…” He seemed very excited. “My nan lives next to a cemetery in New Zealand and she doesn’t like it. She says it’s full of ghosts.” I’m thinking, how did we get from Ancient Egypt to a cemetery in New Zealand? I suppose it’s related – everyone’s dead.
Later, when checking out the activities, I spent half the time tracking down this little boy as he flitted from one end of the overcrowded tent to the other. With 6 other children to watch over, all with designs of breaking free of me, their ball and chain, I was none too chuffed by the extra searching. However, in a stroke of genius, I persuaded this little boy, who was running away from me anyway, to locate and retrieve the others.
He must have found it an impossible task for soon he came back to me, all flushed but happy like a little puppy dog, and announced that he wasn’t going anywhere, anymore. Having nabbed the others myself like a dog-catcher armed with a net, by shouting their names at the top of my lungs, I rounded up the lot and we made for the bus.