Have you watched the movie “Rise of the Guardians”? If you haven’t, there’s a good chance you either don’t have kids or you’ve been busy being an adult. Both, probably. If you haven’t, let me tell you why you should.
I think that there’s something about the child in all of us that never really dies and I thank William Joyce and his Guardians of Childhood books and the movie based on them for reminding me of that.
If you’re not familiar with the guardians, allow me to enlighten you. Don’t worry, I promise not to give too much away.
The first guardian is none other than the Man in the Moon (or MiM for short). He was the first child ever to live without fear and never to have a nightmare because he had a faithful guardian, Nightlight, who watched over him at night, sprinkling golden dream-sand into his mind. Pitch Black, better known as the Boogie Man, found out about this child who didn’t know fear and vowed to make him a prince of nightmares. Nightlight and MiM’s parents gave their lives to prevent this. When MiM began to grow up, he noticed that there were children on earth and that, thanks to Pitch Black, they were all scared of the dark. Gradually, he began recruiting other guardians and worked tirelessly until one side of the moon glowed, a natural nightlight to chase away the darkness.
The first of these new recruits was the guardian of dreams, the Sandman (Sandy), who was an interstellar traveller whose job was to try to fulfill wishes. MiM saved him from Pitch by wishing him well. He then wished that Sandy would help him protect the children when the moon was dark. By this time, Sandy had filled the sand of the island his ship had become with dreams. This he gathered and began distributing them to children everywhere.
Later, MiM recruited a man by the name of Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus, guardian of wonder), a rabbit called E. Aster Bunnimund (the Easter Bunny, guardian of hope), a woman he named Toothiana (Tooth for short, aka the Tooth Fairy, guardian of memories), a young boy named Jack (Jack Frost, guardian of fun) who saved his sister from drowning in an icy pond using a game of hopscotch to take her mind off her fear, and many others.
Children are easy believers. As we grow, however, we start to lose some of that childlike spirit. Something about the child dies inside us, I think, but the wonder and the memories (preserved by the guardians according to Joyce) live on inside us and we try to pass it on to our children, who, in turn, try to pass it to their children.
However, who says that spark of belief has to die? Who says that we have to stop believing just because we’re growing up? Who says we have to let that childish wonder dissipate as we “graduate” to paying bills and taxes and working at jobs? Isn’t being an adult hard enough without losing hope, too?
So, I don’t know about you, but I’m here to say, I believe. I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand Man, Jack Frost and all the rest. Even if that part of my adult brain still tells me that they’re only a story, I won’t let the child inside me lose the magic that belief in these extraordinary people brings. How about you?
Do you believe just a little bit?