The word “childish” has appeared on my newsfeed a lot in the past few days. With Pokémon Go all the rage right now many players are being accused of reverting back to childhood and neglecting their adult responsibilities. I think that’s nonsense! Childishness is not an inherently bad thing and there are plenty of positives to be gained from keeping a little spark of your childhood alive in you. Pokémon itself was invented by combining a man’s childhood fascination with insect collection and his teenage obsession with arcade games; he grew up to be one of the most respected video game designers of all time!
I somehow missed out on the Pokémon craze as a child but that’s okay because I have a mental treasure trove of other “childish” activities to revisit. When I left primary school in 2004 I wanted to be an explorer in the Amazon, discovering new animals every day and writing about all of my adventures. So last Sunday, while many of my peers were out playing Pokémon, I decided to indulge my own inner child with a trip to the aquarium!
We went to a Sealife Centre aquarium which was excellent for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has penguins and I am a sucker for a cute penguin. For another, the focus of the company is on conservation, breeding and education; a lot of the money they make goes towards rescuing marine wildlife and one of the talks we caught was about encouraging responsible fish consumption by avoiding brands that are unsustainable. So as well as being kept entertained for hours it made me happy to know that my entry fee was going towards such a good cause.
My boyfriend and I may well have been the only adults there without child-supervision and we were just as keen as any of the kids to explore the different underwater tunnels and child-sized peep holes. There were some scary moments in which we struggled to get back out of the passageways into which we foolishly squeezed. But you have to make the most of the experience, no matter how big you are!
Being childish doesn’t mean neglecting your responsibilities, it’s about continuing to appreciate things with the same awed wonderment you had when you were young. Being an adult doesn’t mean being dull, for me it means driving safely using diesel I paid for with a license I earned to a big building full of fish and staring at them all morning… and then going for a burger!
What do you do to keep the spark of childhood alive inside you?