Peter Pan is an incredibly lucky kid. Whilst I sit here writing this blog, studying for my A-levels and hoarding my spare change like Ebenezer Scrooge in the hope of saving some ‘dosh’ for later life; 10-year-old Peter Pan is busy flying around Neverland, Wendy in hand, without a care in the world. *Sigh*, I guess it’s just a part of growing up – but boy would I love to trade places with him for just a little while!
Now I know that that will never happen, I guess what I am trying to say is that we won’t be young forever. I was reading the BBC news today, basking with snoozefest articles about David Cameron failing the Letterman quiz, more added cuts to the already growing fiscal troubles… *scrolls down page*. But then I found an article which celebrated the 30th birthday of the emoticon, an article which the child in me just loved to read. The world is becoming an increasingly formal place and it was admitted that the emoticon is a fun, child-like thing that we carry with us. Regardless of age. Regardless of age… if only that applied to everything.
I remember having limitless freedom as a kid, not having to give a monkeys about anything. I could run around my house with a ‘Hot Wheels’ car in hand, shouting ‘BRUUUUUUM’ at the top of my lungs (I was a very active kid) and be called cute by my parents. But now, my Dad just tells me to ‘Calm it down, son’ whenever I run up the stairs. I could go to my friend’s house and for a few hours we could just pretend to be pirates looking for a secret treasure (his Mum would encourage us and hide a ‘Mars Bar’ somewhere in the house. 9 times out of 10 it was behind the sofa, I still lost everytime!). Oh how things have changed. Ever so subtly, that freedom you once had as a kid just deteriates. One day you play in the ball pit, the next you don’t. One day you sit watching ‘Spongebob Squarepants’, the next you find yourself continiuously watching ‘Friends’. You become more grown up and you’ve just had to let your childhood slip away. It’s not an easy transition.
I guess it is hard for an only child, or someone without a little sibling like myself. Once you find yourself transform into an adult, you don’t have a little munchkin to teach the best hiding places to hide in your house or how to play their first videogame. All those things you did as a child, you can’t really pass on until you have kids of your own. The lucky ones are those who have a younger brother or sister. Sure they may be an irritable pain in the backside from time to time, but we all were once, weren’t we? Society wants us to act mature and grown up. But at home, well, you can act about 5 years old with them and the world just won’t care.
A favourite author of mine said that there is a time when we all begin to use credit cards, to drive our first car, to have that first job. Most of us see that as a part of growing up. Now that’s not what I like to call it – I prefer to call it ‘ageing up’. Deep down, we’re all still kids. You don’t have to let your inner child go – just tell him to shush once in a while when someone calls you ‘innapropriate’. My generation is coming to an end; we’ll soon be off to university and venturing off into the adult world. Peter Pan may never grow up. But for us? We can ‘age up’, whilst still watching Toy Story again and again and buying a Kinder Surprise Egg once in a while (Hopefully it’s not just me!). That is something Mr Pan will never have, and it’s something we should always cherish, no matter how old we become.
Long live the emoticon, and long live our inner child 🙂