The 5 year old has a cardboard box. A purple ribboned silver lid - chocolates long eaten, but their container smart and good as new. A treasure chest of special things, which frequents his room and is not for Mummy to see.
Drinking tea at the kitchen table he slinks past me with his box. Cupboard bound to biscuits, treats and crispy bars. 'Enough already' I say, 'wait until after tea'. In a momentary slip of secrecy, a trait of tender age, he admits his mission - a picnic for the sweet of tooth - chocolate after dark, the stuff of dreams indeed.
A Pandora's Box then - a sea of silver foil and paper wrap, prizes won on kitchen raids when a mothers back was turned. I confiscate the box. Midnight feasts, I tell, are special treats - the tooth fairy deals not in chocolate coated, rotten teeth.
Beaten - lost treasure and a promise to brush extra hard. I feel sorry to spoil the fun. From the mouths of babes - allowing yet the power to protect them from themselves. I scold not too hard, for his counsel I wish to keep.
May my boy remain liberal of tongue. Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails. And sweets. In a box - under bed - in the dark. A secret worthy of boyhood indeed... x