Ah, Peter Pan. The beloved story of a boy who doesn’t want to grow up and his world.
The dirty little secret that adults – mostly teachers and parents – try to hide as we show this movie or read this book to children is that each one of us is a little bit like the boy who never grew up.
Today, after hanging up with Time Warner and swearing to switch internet companies (I actually did this time, for the record), I looked at my class walking in and said “Don’t become an adult.”
“But we can’t help it, we get closer and closer every day!”
And, of course, they laughed. Oh, silly lady. Telling us not to grow up. She thinks she’s funny.
Nope. I was dead serious. And I really, truly wanted them to take steps to put themselves in stasis. It’s easier that way. And so today, I chose to write about the wisdom that is Peter Pan, and what we adults can learn from it.
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
I hate goodbyes. I have to say them all the time, to students who are moving up to high school, friends who are moving away, and even parts of myself that I have to move on from.
And why do I hate saying goodbye? Because I don’t want to lose that part of my life, that part of myself. That’s what goodbye is – it’s loss.
I work very, very hard to keep all my memories of people, places, and things intact. And for the most part, I succeed. But then, I wouldn’t remember if I’d forgotten, would I?
“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”
That last part? That’s the key.
I mean, sure, I could go work in a foreign country with the AIDS children if I was willing to default on my loans, lost contact with all of my family and friends, and give up all of my ethical squabbles about serving with a missionary organization.
But I’m not willing to do that. And until I am, there will always be dreams that exist just out of my reach.
“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”
Truth. I’ve never really looked at death as something to be afraid of, in all honesty.
Is it something to be avoided? Of course. If at all possible.
But to be scared of? Nah. I’m about as nervous about death as I am about disembarking a plane in a new country. I only hope that it stays away for a while until I can explore some more of the wonders here.
“Never is an awfully long time.”
I know, Taylor Swift has decided that growing up includes learning to say never. But in my personal opinion, after we grow up a little and get over the whole ‘never say never’ thing, we also learn that we need to use the word sparingly. In fact, one of my fellow coworkers always reminds us not to say never, because then God might decide to take it as a challenge…or something like that.
Never IS a long time. People change. The other side to this is realizing that forever is a long time, too.
Remember that the next time you see your name on the Jumbotron while your boyfriend gets down on one knee. But say yes at first, because, I mean, you don’t want to be the bitch who turns the guy down on the Jumbotron. And then maybe you’ll get to keep the ring. Forever. Which is a really long time.
“Oh, the cleverness of me!”
Not wisdom, but delightful.
I like to think I’m clever, and now that I’ve reminded myself of this line, I’ll be subbing it in when my kids give me the “OMG, Miss, you can’t be serious” look.
That’s the look that they give me when they think that they’re acting more mature than me…or when I make a joke that’s SO lame only a small child would like it. And so what? So what if I’m still a kid a little bit? Who says that I’m supposed to be an adult all the time?
Our bodies have to grow up, but no one ever said anything about her inner selves. And my inner self still likes to color. So there.