Once upon a time, a nine-year-old boy named Dominic was getting ready for his tenth birthday party. His mother and father had done a wonderful job of decorating the house. They had put up streamers and balloons and had placed shiny, silvery personalised banners around the house which read Happy 11th Birthday, Dominic! There was the obvious smell that a cake had been lovingly baked and that party pies and sausage rolls were in the process of cooking in the oven. Then there was the sounds of party playing outside in the back garden. Unfortunately, Dominic couldn’t bring himself to appreciate everything his father and mother had done for him. Dominic certainly didn’t think any less of his parents for trying to put together a party they thought he might like, because, honestly, how was she supposed to know that Dominic was actually a forty-two-year old man trapped inside of an ten-year old’s body?
The truth was, they weren’t supposed to know, and Dominic preferred it that way. So, he played along when he had to: Brushing his teeth with differently themed toothbrushes, heading to bed at seven-thirty each night, enduring kisses on the cheek from his grandmother when he had to and, of course, the worst one of all: Going to school. This was not to mention the dinosaur covered sleeping bags he took when he went to a friend’s house or the jelly-bean themed pyjamas his mother insisted he wore to bed every night. For the past two years, Dominic had thought it was worth it to play along in order to live out his wish, but, he was, however, becoming a little tired of being treated like the ten-year-old boy he wasn’t.
The whole event started when Dominic turned forty years old. Every other birthday, he had taken more than one blow to put all of his candles out, or had made his birthday wish too early or too late. On his fortieth birthday, however, Dominic managed to get the timing just right, and was therefore granted his wish of becoming an eight year old boy again. He had meant the wish as a joke, but Dominic now knew birthday wishes are very real and should be taken seriously in all instances. As a forty-year-old man, Dominic wanted to make this wish for the following three reasons:
1) There was a lot more time to read. As an adult with adult responsibilities, Old Dominic missed the many opportunities there were to just sit and read.
2) He could do a lot better at school. Obviously, with the brain of a forty-year old man, Young Dominic would be infinitely more intelligent than his friends and classmates.
3) Play time. As an older man, Dominic was envious of the fact that kids had plenty of opportunities during their days to run and play and swim and then relax. He certainly didn’t have a lot of time for those things in his adult body.
Dominic had made the decision that he wanted to go back to how things were before two nights ago when he was lying in bed, thinking about the presents he might receive for his birthday. He realised he was tired of lying to his family and having to do things like hide the more advanced novels he had borrowed from the library in his bedroom. He was also positive that he might go insane if he had to play one more game of musical chairs or recite his multiplication facts having already known them quite confidently for the past thirty years. No, tonight, he would set things right again.
His friends came over and he was delighted to see them, as he knew which ones he would eventually lose contact with when he returned to his older self. He enthusiastically played pass-the-parcel and even managed to enjoy himself during his final game of musical chairs. As he opened his presents, he made sure to personally thank everyone for their thoughtful gifts and even took a moment to hug them and tell them he really appreciated them coming. Eventually, it was time for the birthday cake to come out.
Dominic’s friends and family gathered around the table and he looked around the room with love in his eyes as they all sang happy birthday to him. The song had never sounded so beautiful to him. Once they had finished singing, Dominic went over to his mother and hugged her tightly. He then made his way over to his dad and hugged him tighter than he had ever hugged him before. Dominic adjusted his cardboard birthday hat, took once last look around the room, closed his eyes and made a wish.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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