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Feeling the dream
Thanks to his kids, Marlon finds that he still believes in possibility.
So I took the girls to see High School Musical 3 and boy was I in for a rude surprise. I totally got into it. My feet involuntarily started stomping to the beat of the vacuous, all-American slop being dished up on the screen… and I’m not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed it. As did Hannah and Maddison.

The thing that hit the spot for me was how the film took me back to my carefree school days. Do you remember the time in your life when impossible was nothing? The lead characters are a bunch of energetic, fearless, beautiful teens who pull out all the stops to make you believe that you really can be anything you want to be. Suddenly I was 15-years-old again with my best mate from school stuck on a snowed over mountain pass in the Boland mountains. My God, were we insane? We spent three days in those mountains during a severe Cape winter, and we laughed in the face of it all. Only many years later did I realise how close we had come to dying. Our fingers and toes froze, our clothes were wet all the time, our back packs weighed a ton, but do you think we gave a fig? We were immortal!

The movie brought back that innocent charm that all kids possess, until it is brutally ripped away by the reality of life after school. But it’s all good in the end. Because this is the time our kids should be having a jol. They should be believing in the tooth-fairy and Santa Claus and that the car in Knight Rider is real and does actually exist, and that the whole world stops what they’re doing to watch the show, just like I did.

It made me remember so many things about my childhood. I grew up in a pretty staunch Catholic family and we went to church pretty much every time there was a mass. During mass there is a part where the priest makes a symbolic offering to God, and as he raises his hands reciting a prayer, a bell rings from somewhere. For years I was convinced that this sound was the spirit of God actually coming down from heaven to reply… Until one day I caught a glimpse of the altar boy ringing a small brass bell. Boy was I in shock! It took me months to regain my faith.

These days I am a total believer. When Hannah says she is going to be a rock-star, and a week later changes her mind, declaring she’s going to be a farmer, and a week later she wants to be the president, I believe her completely because it’s real for her as it was for me back then. Although when Hannah and Maddi do impromptu fashion shows for me and Maddi just wants to get naked and I say: “What do you think you’re doing, are you going to be a stripper one day?” And she replies all innocently “Yes Daddy, a good stripper.” That’s when I start to pray harder…

So what did you believe in when you were a kid?

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