Lessons from Peter Pan to mother hearts

 In faith, family

My Peter Pan prodigies have been putting on Pan plays for years – always with vigor and vim and ever-essential imaginations. We’ve read J.M. Barrie’s classic, watched the play, seen the movie(s) and delighted in books about the book. With time and added knowledge, my children’s performances have improved and become almost ritualistic. Last week, when my body succumbed to tired and some annoying bug, I received a special performance … and then our special guests (including Sara from Ecuador!) got another lively showing that evening.

My pixies practiced and planned; they played up costume changes and English accents; and they worked that stage (an empty living room) with energy.  In my front-row bean bag chair, I was captured by their love for the story – and love for one another. They work so well together.

And it got me thinking about this enduring and enchanting story –like Peter, it never grows old. Within the tale are timeless treasures for children and parents alike … So, as another school year begins, I feel inspired to apply these four Peter Pan lessons to my mothering, so that my children will keep their magical sense of wonder and pure love:

  1. Use the power of happy thoughts. Even with faith and trust and a sprinkling of pixie dust, feet couldn’t’ fly without the happiest of thoughts. Michael tried thinking of “Chocolate” (which ranks pretty high on my happy list) but still stood on solid ground … to which Peter replies, “Happier!” I need to pre-pick my happy thoughts … the happiest of thoughts … That way, when Mommy needs a lift, a get up-up-and-away, a new perspective, I have a go-to happy thought prepared. Add that positive thinking to faith and trust, and “Away we go!”
  2. Let ‘em fight their battles. Neverland requires courage and collaboration; and the children prove capable – even when up against towering, squandering, evil pirates. Likewise, our Earth life requires those exact characteristics of courage and collaboration – and pirate-sized evil surely exists in our world. I’m impressed by the creative solutions Peter’s crew and my own children come up with … and I need to allow my kiddos to fight the battles they’re prepared for. They may team up with Lost Boys and savages – and they’ll benefit as long as they’re united in purposeful pirate fighting.
  3. We all need a savior. We know good will overcome evil eventually, but we’re all tied to the post and waiting for a Savior in the end. Our sins tie us up … but we can remember the Lost Boys and Darling children who faced their walk-to-the-plank fate and continued to refuse recruitment to the pirate side. Even as Wendy tiptoed the timber that led to death by drowning, she kept her head high – same with her hopes of a swooping savior. Of course, Peter does save the day – just as Christ can save our souls. I must keep my hopes high and endure to the end, never joining those pesky pirates.
  4. Leave the windows of opportunity wide open. Throughout the entire adventure, Wendy offers a mother’s love and remains true to that love and mother as well. In chapter 11 she says, “If you knew how great is a mother’s love, you would have no fear.” And she holds to that faith in love, infusing it in even the most Lost Boys around her. Eventually, she persuades them all – all except Peter – to return to the window of mother. We must remember, that Peter too had returned to his mother’s window once – but it was shut … and oh, how that left an eternal sting. On the other hand, Mrs. Darling kept her window wide and waiting. Again in chapter 11: “See, dear brothers,” says Wendy, pointing upwards, ‘”there is the window still standing open. Ah, now we are rewarded for our sublime faith in a mother’s love.” This reminds me that I must always leave the window of opportunity – the opportunity to return to family – open to my children. No matter how far away they may venture … even when they’re off in the stars … even when they may be old when they finally return. It’s not only my mothering duty to wait and wish and pray for them, but it’s my chance to a family of happily ever after.


peter pan

Oh, I’m sure there are many more truths in this tale – please, tell me what you learn from the story ….
Also, please share some favorite classics that have taught your family vital life lessons. We’re always up for a recommended book adventure!!

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