I am reading Peter Pan to the girls at bedtime. I think they are enjoying it – even Princess Crybaby gets mostly still and quiet. Sometimes she will lay her head on my lap and I’ll rub her back while I’m reading. It’s terrific. Munchkin and I read The Secret Garden last year and it was really fun.
Last night, we were reading the chapter where Wendy decides it’s time to go home. She’s telling the story about the Darlings and how the mother always kept the window open for them to return – never forgetting them. Peter goes on to tell his version of that story, when his own mother “forgot” about him, locked the nursery door and replaced him with another little boy.
Call it runaway pregnancy hormones, but I started to choke up. The girls were absolutely silent too. It was quite the literary moment.
I reassured the girls at the end of the chapter that I would never forget about them if they flew away to Neverland and I would always keep the windows unlocked so they could come home. And then the bedtime rodeo recommenced and the moment passed.
But, a little while later, I found myself thinking about Peter and his story and I could not help but think of Riley. The temptation to fantasize about our eldest boy being one of the Lost Boys, running wild around Neverland; having adventures with Indians and pirates is an intoxicating thought. And then we get to coming back to the window. Would our little “Peter” (aka Riley) think we’d forgotten him? Would he see the crib and bassinet and a closet full of clothes waiting for The Boy’s imminent arrival, and decide that we must have replaced him?
Yes, I know it’s irrational. Riley is in heaven and has been since that morning in October, four years ago. I have not forgotten or replaced him. In fact, I don’t think a day goes by that my heart does not, in some way, whisper his name.
It’s just a story. And I’m VERY pregnant.
One day, I will read Peter Pan to The Boy and kiss the top of his head for the trillionth time and, yes, think of my own Peter Pan. And, while I am perfectly aware of the fact that this is from the movie Hook and not Peter Pan or any of the original versions, I still love this quote from Tinkerbell:
“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”