“Isn’t childhood the hidden seed out of which bit by bit develops the rich tree of life with all it’s pleasures and pain?
Johann Peter Hebel (1760 – 1826)
Honestly: don’t you too sometimes yearn for the days of your childhood? Oh, how simple life used to be when we could walk our ways to school no worries on our minds, spend our free afternoons with friends or play soccer until the street lights came on. So many magical moments – coming home from school, the anticipation of presents on Christmas Eve, the last days before summer break, the tickling feeling in your stomach before jumping off the three-metre-tower – all of those enchanted us. We were so full of energy and potential, had not a care in the world…
Today some of these memories seem like dreams to us. And quite frankly: a lot of those special moments have almost faded and been forgotten, overwritten by adult tasks and to-do-lists, by our daily duties and anxieties which have taken their fair share of our limited hard drive.
But tell me: what do you think of first when you had to tell one especially happy childhood memory? Would it be the first time you rode your bike without assistance? The moment you unpacked the Playstation beneath the Christmas tree? Your first vacation in Italy with friends? The trip to Disneyland? Your first kiss?
What defines our childhood and makes it so special surely is very individual to each of us. As children we laughed and cried, learned a lot, made mistakes, came home with bloody knees and dirty clothes, got in trouble with mummy and still felt so safe, so sheltered and loved. Then, somewhere along the way, we became too old for the child-safety-seat in daddy’s car, or the extra slice of ham at the super-market or the lollypop we got at the dentists office for being such a brave one. When exactly did we grow out of this world where everything seemed possible and anxiety was basically not a thing?
Adulting? Can’t recommend it!
In our daily conversations there recently popped up a new word which might sound strange to some but seems quite fitting for the conversation we are having so far. The word is “adulting” and it describes the way of “acting-mature” or like a “grown-up” in contrast to the easy-going, light-headed attitude of children that don’t have “their act together” and just act as they are. Oftentimes the word adulting is ironically used in memes to comment on the sometimes overly serious attitudes of adults or parents.
Interesting to us in this context is that the term adulting understands acting like an adult almost as an option, a choice you make in terms of your behaviour. Each adult, so it is suggested, has the choice whether he or she wants to give in to his or her inner child and live lightly or rather embody and represent the seriousness of life by acting overly straight-faced. Of course there is a certain demand on us as adults to act maturely, pay our bills, take up our responsibilities. The question tho remains how we are going about this? Do we leave room for humour and fun? The inner child it seems lives on within us even though our everyday life’s sometimes get the best of us.
If you want to make it in life, become somebody, achieve your goals, cope with the stress at work or keep a relationship going you have to struggle, be serious and strive. Many people believe that. (For obvious reasons) Ones own childishness is there often discarded as not helpful and immature. But beware. Those who try to get rid of their inner child by leaving it in the woods – in the Hensel & Gretel kind of way – might have another thing coming and lose an essential and vital part of their personality.
The child within us wants to play, learn new things, stay curious, feel at home. And the inner child needs to be allowed to stay one to keep us from aging too fast. Those who abandon this need for simplicity and playfulness might turn soon into a Grinch- or a Captain Hook-like figure. These types will develop some sort of allergy to good vibes and bit by bit they will fail to see the magic of life that is all around us everyday. (Hello darkness, my old friend!)
Why so serious?
Take these comments as a reminder that life really is serious enough. No need therefore to make it even more so. Approached with a sense of humour and a bit of childishness it can be dealt with more easily for sure. Those who allow their inner child to play around safeguard themselves also from growing up too fast and mentally turning into grumpy-faced people way too full of themselves. Has this process already started with you? I for example catched myself the other day observing children playing on the subway and thinking “dang, the youth of our days, so annoying…” Thank god I was able to shake that attitude off then and there.
Funny also how todays adults deal with allegedly spoiled 90s kids. This special attitude turned quickly into meme-material as well. If an adult says things like “todays youth is having a breeze, we had to go through life without smartphones and Wikipedia!”, well then the response might be something like “Ok, Boomer!”. This reply counters the “adulting” of the “Boomer”-generation which itself was blessed with a life in peace and prosperity but needs to lecture todays kids about how hard their lifes actually were thereby failing to see the challenges and anxieties that generation Y and Z have to cope with.
It’s rather positive tho to appreciate from time to time that the majority of us has had the great luck to live in a time of plenty and opportunity and can look back on a happy childhood. That’s virtually something so valuable that money can’t buy. Our personalities, our character, our relationships, friendships and career options – everything depends (and builds) to a degree on our childhood as the first phase of socialisation. The happier your childhood, the more stable your family, the more wholesome your relationships, the better your education the more likely it is that you will some day be able to grant your own children a childhood worth remembering.
The long way home
But what if, let’s assume, you were not as lucky und did not have a happy childhood? What if your parents were not as loving and caring as seen in the commercials? Sine at all times there are cases like these (and not few of them) the Benita-Quadflieg-Foundation has put together a project to safe children from abuse and mistreatment and give them a real home with caring and loving family structures. The foundation was set up to grant children a balanced upbringing and education to make sure they develop optimally and have a childhood they will always cherish.
In the Children’s House “Mignon” kids can enjoy a life in a typical family environment and will be taken care of with all the love and compassion they ned to grow. EMERALD BERLIN wants to make sure that this project gets the publicity and attention it deserves and therefor has created a unique fashion-statement collection to heighten awareness for this noble cause. EMERALD BERLIN is happy to contribute to this project and appreciates your support and your efforts to help spread awareness. Thank you so much!