It was Dick Whittington made me do it


What happens when you grow up?


Honestly, I had no idea.  Mummy had told me I was a big girl.  My world no longer made sense.  The Fairies were gone and Santa with them.  I looked at my dolls and understood for first time that they were toys.


But who could I talk to now?


There was no time for self pity.  With single minded determination I focused on finding a way forward.  Scanning my room, my eyes came to rest on my bookcase, filled to over flowing with neatly stacked books.  None of which I could read yet but all of which I knew the story to.  A thin ladybird book caught my eye; it was the story of Dick Whittington and his cat.  I ran my finger over the spine of the book, knowing I had found the answer to my dilemma.


It was, after all, what Dick Whittington had done!


A sock was filled with pennies, my school bag packed with clean socks, books and plums.  I wandered into the dining room and said 'goodbye' to my Mummy.  Pride prevented me from crying but inside my heart broke.  I would miss my home and my bedroom and the books I had decided were too large or too heavy to carry.


Mum looked up from the page on which she was writing and smiled.

“Bye Darling,” she said, when I told her I was going to London to seek my fortune.


I walked up the garden, past my tree and towards the large gates at the top of the driveway.  Being grown up felt very lonely and I was quite sure I didn’t like it very much.  But as I pulled hard on the iron gate, and it swung open, I concluded that there wasn’t much to be done about it.


Turning my head first right and then left, I stared up and down Springside Road wondering exactly which way London was.


No immediate clues presented.


Using what little common sense a seven year old has, I decided to head in the direction of Hillcrest, our local village.  So turning left out of our driveway, I started to walk.


The day was hot and bright and the sun burned down on me like a furnace.  It was not long before I needed a glass of water and started to wish desperately that I could turn back and go home.


I heard a car coming up behind me and then the screeching of its tyres as it broke hard.  Someone had noticed I was missing and, realising my goodbye had not been a game, had come looking for me.


The rest of that day was spent consigned to my bedroom in disgrace and I was told that growing up didn’t mean you had to leave home and live in a flat in London.


Well that was one prediction that turned out to be wrong.



 Childhood Dreams