June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Amélie is definitely up there in terms of great films. One of the parts I loved was when Amélie took her father’s garden gnome and had a flight attendant friend photograph it in front of various tourist attractions around the world. She was trying to encourage her father to get out from under his malaise and get out and see the world.
When I was a kid I thought the world was filled with imagination and that’s just the way it was. Now that I’m older I realize imagination was something that was encouraged and fostered in my family and in the neighborhood we spent part of our childhood in in PA. My grandmother played a similar “trick” on me as the gnome when I was about 4 or 5. She told me there was a mouse named Henry that lived under the bathroom in their house. Henry would call me on the phone and squeak talk (which my grandmother would translate) and he would leave me candy and other gifts when I went to visit my grandparent’s house. I would even sit in the bathroom with my head under the sink calling to him under the pipes. There was only one time her plan backfired when their cat, Edith, caught a mouse outside and I started freaking out trying to save it because I thought it was Henry. I can’t remember what her explanation was for that one, but ultimately Henry was a fun thing between the two of us.
This week I thought I’d pay tribute to Henry and introduce my niece and nephew to a new friend, Fred the tree frog.
My sister Amity mentioned they like snakes and frogs, so I opted for a frog. Fred will be sending them something special from Colorado this week. He also might have something to share from NY next week when he’s in the city.
When I was thinking about doing this it dawned on me I never asked my grandma why or how she came up with Henry in the first place. I’m guessing it was initially born out of creating some form of distraction for me but then just became a fun thing between the two of us. Whatever the reason, Henry was a fun part of my childhood imagination.
Let’s hope I can pull it off with my nephew, he’s a smart one!