‘Children… are burdened by a wish fantasy in direct proportion to the restrains of their narrow lives; Children are repressed at every waking minut… The result is the insecure, and therefore aggressive/defensive often obnoxious little person we call a child.’ (Firestone, 1970: 101).
This in an extract from The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone, one of the strangest, weirdest (yet britghtest at points) books I’ve ever read. The chapter about childhood is specially revealing (or it was, at least, for me). She basically discussed that there shouldn’t be such a difference (a barrier, even) between childhood and adulthood. There wasn’t any in the Middle Ages, for instance, where children were considered as ‘mini-adults’ to all effects – and yes, there were some barbaric consequences, as one can imagine.
Yet, I’m not myself any different from the self I remember at two years old. Yes, I’m wiser and I’ve more experience, but my personality, wishes, curiosity… all the same. And like Firestone says of children, I still feel repressed and restrained if not by my parents by expectations, society norms…. (even by myself).
Play. I think this is something so important we used to do as children we’re suppose to forget now – there’re too many responsabilities, deadlines… etc. However, if when we take life seriously we just drown deeper and deeper in the iron waves of perfectionism. We tend to see things in black and white. We hurt ourselves for being too narrow-minded.
I need to play more. Playing is being flexible and being able to adapt and take things as they come and see dragons and wizards instead of taxes and burocratic forms. Playing creatively is also necessary because if you have fun creating (a book, an illustration) the outcome doesn’t matter anymore.