My Aunt was one of my Godmothers who saw me christened as a baby . She was (and is) a devout Roman Catholic who took this job seriously . Compared to my other Godmother who sent an occasional birthday card with ' God Bless' inscribed under her name (and who I've yet to meet) , Auntie more than made up for two .
Every birthday as a child , she sent something related to the Old Testament designed to appeal to children: colouring books , cut-out papers dolls of persons in the Bible Stories , a Noah's Ark paper model to assemble , advent calendars...
|Mine was similar to this.|
As I came of age to be confirmed in the Anglican Church , Auntie sent me a statue of Jesus standing with hands out and a benign smile on his face...blessed by the priest especially for me . The message (in my mind)...'Okay , from now on you are on your own !- no more cutesy birthday gifts . This is serious stuff .'
I carefully placed the statue on the dresser in the bedroom feeling pretty honoured to have it . All day I kept going to it . I picked it up many times to examine and feel the moulded lines of my plastic Jesus .
That night , I went to bed confident that Jesus was really watching over me . However , it glowed in the dark ...not a gentle, soft hint of comforting light... but a harsh green glow that lit up the room . I had to cover my head with the blanket . The light was keeping me awake . Any brief sleepy eye-opening during the night , shocked me to distorted consciousness in the creepy glow.
After a week or two of fighting some kind of guilt , I put Jesus into the underwear drawer and took him out every morning . I thought that a fair compromise . Eventually , I forgot to take him out of the drawer. Later , I placed the statue in a Church rummage sale . I felt guilty...that some other kid may get scared by this interpretation of Jesus . By then it didn't glow as brightly as when it was brand new . " It should be fine ."
I later found out the 'glow' on those early plastic statues was achieved by painting them with radium . Now I think , how many pairs of my underwear were radioactive ?