Thursday, October 24, 2013


My children are obsessed with Peter Pan.  Like really obsessed!  They watch it all the time.  Clark often tells me that he cant wait to find a fairy one day so that he can fly.  He told me that his "happy thought" would be going on bike rides with his Dad.  To be honest, I am very okay with this new found love for this movie.  It is one of my absolute favorite stories of all time!!  I loved the movie as a child and then when I was in college, I read the book and oh I fell in love.  Its a wonderful story when you look at it simply, but I just love all of the symbolism and messages throughout.  I know that there is a lot of controversy surrounding J.M. Barrie, but one thing is certain;  he is a gifted writer!

The other day Clark came strolling out of preschool holding the hand of a sweet little girl that's in his class.  He's liked her since the first day of preschool.  After we got home, I overheard him telling his Grandpa that she was his girlfriend.  Guys, he's 4 and he is saying he has a girlfriend!  I know that its nothing, but at the same time its not nothing.  When I saw his adorable little face beaming as he waved goodbye to this girl, I just wanted to cry, because it was like I could see him all grown up all the sudden.  I could see him, tall and handsome and independent from me and Brad, going to college, going on a mission, getting married, all with his childhood far behind him.  He has so few years left of innocence and wonder.  He has so few days left of nothing to be afraid of and nothing to worry about.  His childhood is slipping away so fast.
I worry so much that these years aren't being treasured like they should be.  That I'm not doing enough to prepare our boys for the futures that await them, but even more, that I'm not making their childhood as wonderful as it needs to be.  Childhood is for most people, the thing that they long for.  That they get the most home-sick for.  That they think about and remember and carry with them, because it feels like home and comfort and safety.  I want my children to be strengthened by their first 18 years.  I want them to look back on years of happiness and togetherness and laughter and peace.  I want them to associate all feelings of love and joy with growing up.  I want time to slow down.  I want to move our family to Neverland.  Just for a little while.  Just so I can enjoy this all a bit longer.  So I can read more stories and sing more songs.  Snuggle and hug and eat animal crackers just a little longer. 

In the story of Peter Pan, Peter runs away to Neverland because he never wants to grow up.  He spends his days doing fun childish things, but is also in a constant battle with Captain Hook, who represents adulthood.  Captain Hook is deathly afraid of the crocodile who took his hand, and forever follows him around, trying to eat him.  The crocodile, who also swallowed a clock, obviously represents time.  And let me tell you, when I saw Clark walking out of preschool the other day, I felt that tic toc croc nipping at my heels.

But as much as I can relate to the fear that Captain Hook has for that crocodile, I'd rather take from other points made in this lovely story.       

Like for instance, that darkness and shadows are always driven out by light, and that darkness is necessary for us to fully appreciate the light. 

That every child needs a mother and a father and love, to be whole.

And that childhood is irreplaceable and so very precious. 

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