I love children’s literature–especially the classics. They are all that is simple and good; there is none of the strife of the real world just simple lessons that most adults, including myself, can benefit from, and reading those books is an opportunity to escape from the harsh realities of “adulting.”
“Peter Pan and Wendy” has long been one of my favorites. I can never decide if I am more like Wendy or Peter, but maybe it is less about who I am more similar to than who I want to share more similarities with. Likely, everyone would tell you that I am a Wendy. I want to take care of and make people comfortable. I love a plan, and Wendy seems like the kind of girl that likes a plan too. Peter, on the other hand, is so untethered. He operates on whims and fancies, and surprisingly, that is something that I envy.
Peter is always ready and willing to go on an adventure. In the book, Peter even goes as far as to say “to die would be an awfully big adventure.” The quote has always stuck with me. Although, I must admit that I much prefer the variation that was used in the popular Robin Williams movie, “Hook,” which is “to live would be an awfully big adventure.” Recently, I have been reminded that living, is indeed, an awfully big adventure, but all adventures come with their fair share of challenges and strife. It isn’t all mermaids and flying; more often than not there are pirates lurking out at sea. And, some nights it feels as if a heavy fog has settled, and it is far more challenging on those nights than on others to find the “second star from the right” and fly “straight on until morning.”
When you are on an adventure, one of the greatest difficulties is changing course. My husband and I were thrilled to learn that we are expecting our first child, and we were preparing for the adventure of parenthood and raising a child. It was going to be a great challenge, but it is one that comes with many very tangible as well as intangible rewards. Unfortunately, we have had to change course after learning that our sweet baby has anencephaly and will not survive for more than a few minutes, hours, or days, at most, after delivery. We are now challenged with loving and caring for our baby the best that we can for as long as we can. We are hopeful that there will be rewards in this challenge as well, but I don’t think that they will be the tangible type. Right now, we are trying to navigate through the fog to find the “second star from the right.”
I know that it will take us awhile, but we will continue to move forward. I hope that I can be a little more like Peter and have the courage to embrace this element of our adventure. Because of course, it wouldn’t a true adventure it were easy. And in the meantime, I might pick up a few more children’s books to read.
That’s All She Wrote