The 1st of June marks the celebration of the International Chidlren 's Day! Today's Bunkyful Blog is dedicated to the question of growing up: what does it mean in a "traditional" sense? Also, Bunky and I will explain why it is not in our plans to grow up anytime soon! :-)
Above: Bunky, the Bunky Princess and Aleksandra (the author of "Bunky and the Walms") celebrating their Very Bunky Picnic in May.
In my novel "Bunky and the Walms", Bunky is quite unwilling to grow up. He feels disappointed when, just before Christmas, his aunts praise him for becoming more "grown up" and vows to always be a child at heart. When the Readers encounter Bunky, he is a student in primary/ elementary school. For Bunky, "growing up" signifies entering the adult world where magic and ideals are prone to dissolve with time. Hence, he is very reluctant to enter this stage, wishing to never change or become different from whom he is: the person who chiefly believes in the beauty of life, the value of friendship and the magic of miracles coming from one's heart. At the same time, Bunky admires his uncle Bill who is a grown up person with a beautiful childike heart. He is the one who is not surprised on hearing Bunky's extraordinary Christmas story and he is the one who readily believes in Bunky's words, as his genuine world is free from lies and deception and it is easy for him to have faith in his loved ones.
The distinction between being "childlike" and "childish" is crucial here: uncle Bill is caring and responsible, yet very genuine in his behaviour and beliefs: he deeply believes in Santa Claus and enjoys playing with toy trains with his nephews. It does not prevent him from being a wonderful and caring uncle. Similarly to his uncle Bill, our young protagonist Bunky is a very responsible person who receives the task of utmost importance and does everything in his power to complete it. At the same time, just like uncle Bill, Bunky cultivates his childlike side and protects it from any disillusionment or bitterness possible in the adult world. Apparently, Bunky is protecting himself from the conventional understanding of "growing up". "Grow up and stop being a child" is the expression reflecting the conventional understanding of maturing. Actually, Bunky and I believe that, in order to fully grow up into a fully-fledged, versatile, responsible, loving and beautiful person, it is indispensable to keep one's childlike side close to one's heart. If the inner child is left behind, so is the beauty and meaning of life. The word "childlike" is the affirmation of our inner beauty and genuinity, whereas "childish" might, indeed, point to one's lack of maturity. By all means, the word "childlike" should stay with us throughout the entire life! In "Bunky and the Walms", there are numerous reflections concerning life made by Bunky and all of them are genuine, straightforward and unique. I believe that this is precisely what inner child represents. On losing it, we might as well lose ourselves. Just like Bunky, children have enough courage and honesty to analyse the world in, oftentimes, unconventional yet truthful and prepossessing way. Why should we abandon this ability for the sake of conventional "growing up"?
Bunky and I are not planning on growing up in a conventional sense - we are not willing to ever resign from our fairytale-like fantasies, our dreams, our beliefs in goodness and in Santa Claus. It does not prevent us from being responsible, mature and serious when necessary. Childlike attitude, dreams and fantasies do help us to sail through any difficulties which life and the world place on our path. Also, they do influence our "reality" and transform it in a tangible way for, in the end of the day, everything is built on a thought which can be futhermore transformed into the written word, spoken word or positive energy. Our dreams materialize in front of our eyes more often than we realise.
The world is, indeed, already too difficult to abandon such a precious word as "childlike". Only this genuinity, this inner beauty and pure belief in magic - the goodness coming from one's heart - can alter the current state of affairs and allow us to feel fully happy with and enchanted by our lives.
Dear All, Dear Youngest Readers and Dear Readers of All ages who are childlike at heart,
Bunky, the Bunky Princess and I wish you a very bunkyful, beautiful Chidren's Day! May Children's Day be in your hearts every single bunkyful day! :-) After all, childlike dreams lead to magical realities... publishing my novel "Bunky and the Walms" was one of such dreams therefore, please, never resign from yours...!
Above: Aleksandra and Bunky as twins (wearing the same t-shirts)! :-)
Below: Bunky, the Bunky Princess and Aleksandra with the wonderful Outstanding Creator Award medal awarded for the novel "Bunky and the Walms"!