Do you remember the excitement of being a child and wearing your pyjamas out of the house? Being snuffled in to a car and on to a midnight ferry or to pick up a parent from the train station? I do. Vividly. And today I got to relive it because we had tickets for The Polar Express.
We left the house all in Pjs and dressing gowns- ready for an adventure that was either going to be like a bad anxiety dream or a magical experience.
Polar Express runs deep in their veins. So much so they watch it all year round- height of summer or snuggling winter’s day. Whenever. They adore this film. Alex’s first long sentence was ‘shall we go home and cuddle up and watch Polar Express?’
We boarded the train from the misty (dry ice) platform and found our seats and the carriage filled with characters from the film: the chefs, the elves, the conductor. William, who is usually rather cool and aloof, was spellbound and grabbed hold of my phone to capture a picture of the conductor.
He then went bright red and all flustered-like how I would if I ever met Dolly Parton.
He even made me ask the conductor for a photo- this is unheard of.
Then we had a dance and a hot chocolate from the chefs and games and chats with the characters.
And then the carriage lights went off and outside the train window were lights and signs for the North Pole and Santa and his sleigh and our boys were beside themselves and I wept. It was utterly magical.
AND THEN SANTA CAME ON TO THE TRAIN! And Alex went wild and then shy and then bright red too. And Father Christmas gave them a bell each and it was beautiful.
As we chugged back, the conductor came and clipped their tickets and put a B and E for believe for Alex (‘just like the film!’) a W on William’s who lost his shizzle (‘how did he know my name?!’).
On the drive home William said ‘I loved the Polar Express’ and I teared up all over again because sometimes I forget he’s only six and we can still make his life magical.