I think it’s pretty well accepted that there is a certain gullibility among children. Having less experience and knowledge than others, they can still believe in magic, Santa Claus, and fairy dust. Obviously with age, these beliefs typically go away. For that, I’m thankful, especially because I was incredibly naïve as a child. As a result, I made life harder on myself than I needed too.
I remember the first time I watched the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at a friend’s house. The scene where Violet Beauregarde chews the bubble gum and blows up like a blueberry, I was terrified. Especially when Willy asks his assistants to roll her to the juicing department. Seriously, “the juicing department”? My frazzled brain could only imagine what happened there.
Later, I asked my Mom if Violet’s fate could be mine, as I loved a good stick of flavorful bubble gum. My Mom laughed lightly and said, “Oh….you…” I know her tone and response should have told me everything I needed to know about my situation: I had nothing to fear. However, she didn’t actually say it couldn’t happen, thus haunting me for some time after.
I can now have a good laugh over that situation, but I know in my heart I can still be naïve in some respects. Thankfully the older I get, the more it fades away.