I was about 5 or 6 when my sister took me to go and meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was the late 80s, and back then, it was a BIG DEAL. The photo is hanging out somewhere in my parents house, but I remember the awe of it all, and the humongous queues to get a photo taken with them. It was really, really momentous.
Apart from that, that is my only brush with kiddie fame. And I was thinking today, what a difference a few decades make.
Back then, Minnies and Mickeys only ventured out of Disneyland, like once in a blue moon. And if you met them, that was like the holy grail, the Christmas of Christmases, the highlight of your sweet, sweet childhood.
Nowadays though? Baby girl has been to 4 Wiggles concerts, been in close contact with Lah Lah’s band and posed with the accordion player, had photos with both Bananas in Pyjamas, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle from In The Night Garden, and today, the latest addition.
And she is only 3 and a half.
She met Dora at Westfield Southland today, and it was amazing. I mean, for her. I watched proudly as she confidently walked up to the top of the stage steps, to wait her turn for a meet ‘n’ greet, and then strode purposefully towards one of her idols for a big all-encompassing hug and photo op.
When I saw the size of Dora, a little part of me went ‘Yikes.’ I mean, this was a super-sized Dora! I was concerned baby girl would cower slightly and need strong nudging before hesitantly making her way towards her.
But nope. This seasoned professional, who has already seen so much, and so many of her favourite entertainers, did me so, so proud.
And the best bit? The novelty HASN’T worn off. She is still as excited and thrilled seeing Dora today, as she was 2 and a half years ago when she went up to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy in the shopping centre and happily gave them warm hugs.
It is still sweet. And I will encourage that sense of wonder and innocence, of youthful exuberance and gratitude in her, for as long as I live.