Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wendy in Never-Never Land

The other night I took Noah to see his very first play. It was Peter Pan, at the library, presented by a touring troup of TWO GUYS who performed almost all the parts themselves. They pulled some kids out of the audience to play some of the smaller parts. Noah had a blast.

A couple nights before, I got Noah to sit down and watch the Disney Cartoon version of Peter Pan with me so that I could explain everything in the story, to make sure he followed what would happen in the play.

I hadn’t watched the movie in quite sometime. And I realized a couple things… one, it is not that great of a story… (Cliff’s Notes version is that Wendy, Michael and John go off to Never-Never Land with Peter. Hook kidnaps Tigerlily, the Indian princess, to find out where Peter’s lair is. He rescues her. Hook kidnaps the lost boys and the three kids. Peter rescues them, and the three kids go home. The end)

The other thing I realized is that the real subtext of Peter Pan is about Wendy, really, not about Peter or the boys. In the beginning, her father thinks its time she stop living in the nursery with the children, and that she move into her own room. When she goes to Never-Never Land, it’s the boys who never grow up there, and they take Wendy along JUST to be their mother, and to remind them what a mother is.

During her stay there, she mothers the boys, keeps them safe, and when they start to forget about home she teaches them about mothers and caring, and family and comfort. When she gets back home to her father, she tells him that she is ready to grow up and move out of the nursery.

In a way, I could really relate. I spent most of my adult life (21-36) doing whatever I wanted to do. Playing, traveling, having adventures. Not the pirate life, but a fun life that could turn on a dime if I so chose. I think my last adventure was going to Thailand with Michael on our Honeymoon.

But after becoming a mother in the land of little boys, just like Wendy in Never-Never Land did, I had to really put my priorities right and step out of the nursery. Mothering became the number one role in my life. Wife was second. Adventure girl came third.

I miss Adventure Girl and hope one day I can take my boys (all four of them) with me on some good trips that we can all enjoy together. Until then, I am Wendy, trying to keep them all safe on their little adventures. In their own little Never-Never Land.

Second star to the right. Straight on till morning!

1 comment:

Snowbird said...

Karen, this post brought a tear to my eye. I guess I never looked at the story of Peter Pan that way. I think there is a little of Wendy in most of us. Adventure Girl will return, I'm sure of it. And her boys will have a blast going on the adventure with her.