I love books. I really do. So do my children. I also agree that in this ever advancing world of technology and gizmos that we should take the time -even a whole week, to appreciate books, authors and the hours of entertainment literature provides us with. I grew up reading Roald Dahl, Judy Blume and Enid Blyton stories. I wanted to live in my own Enchanted Tree and when I was older, I wanted to be a part of the Famous Five and Secret Seven. I moved on to Charlotte Bronte and even Shakespeare and these days I love a good Vince Flynn or Lee Child wowzer but when on EARTH did Book Week become such a competition of costumes?? Did I miss the memo?
Granted-most children LOVE dressing up. It’s a chance to be adventurous, to have some fun and to tell Mum they ‘just need a Cat in the Hat costume for tomorrow…’. Like I’ve got nothing else to do but go hunting for a costume that will get used once, with money I’d rather spend on a bottle of Moet on a day I’m fully booked training clients!
Again, I love books and I think we should celebrate them. But what I DON’T understand is the pressure so many mums obviously put on themselves to present their child in THE most detailed, expensive, time intensive costume known to exist! I used to think that the younger the child, the more extravagant the costume was but after this week I’m not so sure!
My son is easy in Book Week. He wears his soccer garb and we find a book character to suit. That’s as adventurous as he gets! My girls are just excited to not be wearing school uniform. As much as I’d like to send them as ‘the three little pigs’ some days, they all go as different characters. The girls jumped on the school bus along with the token Hermione, Alice in Wonderlands and Fancy Nancys….
When I got to my son’s school with him, I was overwhelmed with the parade in front of us. Surrounded by Harry Potters, Grug, Hobbits, Ghostbusters (not sure which book this is from…certainly wasn’t Shakespeare), BFG, Where’s Wallys, animals, Ned Kellys, Tin men, tigers and Captain Underpants’, I started to feel a little guilty as I looked down at my little Timmy Cahill……But do you know what? My guilt didn’t last too long. I’m a working mum. I have four children, a business to run, blogs to write, a house to clean, and meals to cook. I don’t have the time or the nanny to create masterpieces with alfoil, hand woven wigs of wool OR highly advanced yet medieval weapons to be carried around at recess and forgotten by lunch time…..
Well done to all those mums who put all that effort in. Really. Your sons looked amazing and I’m sure the teacher who had to hop around like a kangaroo-literally thought so too. I just hope those mums don’t put that much pressure on themselves with ALL of their day to day goings on. Book Week, is NOT a competition amongst the children OR the mums in charge of creating the characters we love and appreciate. It is a celebration of literacy, ancient, old and new. It is the time we thank and adorn the authors who created such characters as James and the Giant Peach, magical places like the Faraway Tree and loveable worlds like Harry Potter’s….Let’s remember the origins of the snozzcumber and the magic of Hogwarts. The escapism and fantasy of books should be held onto forever, whether you are eight or eighty. It’s NOT about who has the best tiger face paint or the coolest costume.
All kudos to those who have the time to weave wigs and create whole outfits of alfoil. As in life, there are magicians, little pigs, monsters and those who simply do not wear costumes. Like me- what you see is what you get (eventually, after you get to know me, ….takes a while….but you’ll get there).
Until the next Book Week, I wish you many pages of entertainment, escape and snozzcumbers…..and who knows? We may just swap Cahill for Kewell next year!
PS-Let me know what you’re reading….who do you like and why?