Monday, 13 June 2016

An Open Letter To Thomas The Tank Engine

Dear Thomas...

Oh what a relationship you & I have had over the years.

Your familiar, cheeky face has been a part of my life since way back in my own childhood - when each afternoon after school I'd stand with my nose pressed up against the TV screen...hypnotized by the monotonous-yet-strangely-entrancing tones of Ringo Starr narrating your tale as I watched you get into yet another scrape or misadventure on the ever-eventful island of Sodor.

You were never a favourite character of mine, it has to be said - Strawberry Shortcake and the My Little Pony crew had my heart and your chugging-charms could do little to sway me from them - but nevertheless, you were always there in the background - always a familiar friendly face to turn to when the only other options were Blue Peter, Newsround or some other fate worse than death. 

But little did I know back then just how big a part of my life you were to become...

You see Thomas, I had a son...and as somebody who hadn't ever really expected to be a mum of boys I had (somewhat stereotypically) envisioned a lifetime of Disney Princesses in my future.

So when my rose-tinted glasses were swapped for blue-tinted ones after learning of the presence of a willy in my womb - I panicked.

I feared the worst - years of Monster Trucks and GI Joe and, worst of all, FOOTBALL ahead of me - and I had to take action.

And so I brainstormed - there had to be an alternative to monsters and soldiers and super heroes out there for boys to love - and then I remembered you.

Your charm and your innocence, your lack of fart jokes and weapons and any sports at all - and I knew you were perfect.

And so, for his very first Christmas, I bought my little boy a ride-on Thomas train - hoping against hope that you'd win his affections and oh my goodness, didn't you do just that!

A quick visit to Days Out With Thomas later and he had well & truly fallen for you, hook line and sinker.

He was under your spell.

And in the three years since, he has utterly adored you.

I dread to think of how much money I have spent on overpriced die-cast pieces of metal moulded into the 12,000 engines that inhabit that island of yours (Which surely must be more of a continent than an island just to fit you all on?!) - my house is rammed to the rafters with every Take & Play toy there is, and I can't walk more than 7 steps in any direction without tripping over a piece of train track or a rogue engine.

We have spent endless days visiting Thomasland, watching every one of your movies, reciting your songs over and over, listening to your soundtracks in the car, and watching "Guess The Engine" videos on YouTube.

The names Gordon, James, Hiro and Emily have been said more often in this house than the names of some of our family members.

We even purchased special stickers of you to put on his boiled eggs to make him eat them!

You have been more a part of our lives over the past few years than some of our relations.

But in the last month or so...something has happened.

Where once he would have headed straight for you and your engine friends when he comes down to play each he heads for his superhero figures and his Scooby Doo set, and you are barely even glanced at as the day goes on.

When he's given his Ipad time, he no longer asks to watch the bizarre fan-made engine race videos, instead he asks for The Avengers.

And he finally confirmed my fears last night, when tucking him into his bed (which is shaped just like you), he said "I don't like my Thomas bed anymore...I want a big boy bed".

Your happy smiley face beamed out at me from behind his head as he said it, and I felt my heart break just a little bit.

I guess this is really it...Our time seems to have come to an end, Thomas.

Your innocent over-sized eyes and shiny funnel have been replaced in his heart with the Hulk's muscles and Batman's cape.

I've accepted it, and it's natural of course....but I can't help but feel sad when I see you laying cast aside on the playroom floor.

Once so loved, and now forgotten...a sign that my baby is getting older, and leaving the first love of his childhood behind him.

He & I have lots of adventures to go on yet, lots of flits and fancies, lots of new "favourites" to enjoy...but you will always hold such a special place in my heart Thomas.

I'll never look at your cheeky grin in the same way again - where once you were just another childrens character, now you represent something so special to me - you are the symbol of my first boys toddlerhood, the reminder of my first years as a Mummy to a precious little boy.

You will always bring a smile to my face, whenever I catch a glimpse of you, as I remember all the happy years we spent with a little boy who loved you so very much.

And despite the fact that selling all of these toys we've collected would probably give us enough money for a bloody good holiday, I know I'll never be able to part with them.

And besides, I live in hope that - with two other baby boys getting bigger by the day - you and I will meet again soon.

But it's farewell for now Thomas...Thank you for the memories.

Lots Of Love,

A Very Soppy Mummy xxx

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