Once a Lost Girl…

Ruth B’s single “Lost Boy” has been moving quite fluidly across the airwaves of late,  sung in her dreamy, soulful voice, though I first heard it when a friend of mine shared a YouTube video of the song to my Facebook page, saying that it reminded them of me. I take that as quite a compliment, personally. The first half of the song goes like this:

There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too

Then one night, as I closed my eyes
I saw a shadow flying high
He came to me with the sweetest smile
Told me he wanted to talk for a while
He said, “Peter Pan, that’s what they call me
I promise that you’ll never be lonely, ” and ever since that day

I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy, ” they say to me
Away from all of reality

When I was a child, the first storybook character I fell in love with (yes, I believe that I loved him with all my little-girl heart) was Peter Pan. I had a beautifully illustrated storybook, a book on tape, loved the Disney movie (was so jealous that Tiger Lily got to “kiss” Peter), watched the “Peter Pan and the Pirates” television series on Fox in the mornings before school, had my blue “Wendy” nightdress, and had the Mary Martin production of Peter Pan memorized (still sing “Once Upon a Time” and “I Won’t Grow Up”). It’s safe to say that I was a bit obsessed with Peter Pan and all the characters therein.

When I was a child, I didn’t have many friends. I was small, skinny, awkward, studious, always with my nose in a book. Not many people wanted to associate with that, particularly in the first half of middle school. So I turned to my books and movies (which were mostly based on books), to the characters held within them who had ever been steadfast friends. I was a Lost Girl in truth. I could sink myself into those stories, let the characters pull me along to join them on their adventures, and live a thousand lives that I would never have in the real world. I was happy as a Lost Girl, in Never Land. I was happy with the dream of Peter (who, interestingly, has continued to grow as I have grown) coming to my window, taking my hand with that handsome, sweet grin, and flying me off to somewhere where I could be more than what I was. Where I could be a Lost Girl, not just little Melissa. Where I could talk with mermaids, fly with fairies, fight pirates, and dance with Tiger Lily.

Where I could be someone else. More than what I was.

Even now, I am still a Lost Girl. I still run off with these characters and dive into their stories, their ranks having swelled over the thirty-some years of my life. Dear friends and new, they make me happy to be a Lost Girl. In fact, there are two new books on my table, two new shedloads of characters just waiting to take me on their adventures and share with me their realities.

As a matter of fact…I think that’s a tap on my window. Excuse me.




NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 11: The Shadow In My Window

“Once Upon a Time” Peter Pan Art by and Property of Lehanan – http://lehanan.deviantart.com/

Inspired by and based on J.M. Barrie’s creation Peter Pan and Wendy.

= = =

When that shadow showed up at my window, I knew instantly what it was. Part of me didn’t want to let it in, but how can you keep a shadow out? I knew what it heralded. I knew who was coming. And what he was coming for. He was coming for me.

I had done something very foolish. No, very stupid. Everyone with a mind knew that a story wasn’t just a story. There was always something behind those fictions, something real. And he was. He was real. Pan. Barrie had conveniently left out the part about Pan also being an ancient Greek god, represented as a man, forever young, tripping and traipsing and stealing away young women for his enjoyment. I didn’t find that out until later, until after I had done my something stupid.

I had called him. I offered him my voice, since he couldn’t hear mermaids sing or fairies talk. I offered him my breaths to count by, as his days are but one endless summer. I offered him my memories to tell him endless stories. I offered him my heart since he doesn’t know love.

I had offered my life, myself, not to an ageless child bent on fun, but to the god of eternal summer. Peter Pan. Puck. Robin Goodfellow. I had given myself to the oldest of the Old Ones. And now he came to collect. I was to turn sixteen the next day. Age of consent. The beginning of adulthood. And, tonight, his shadow showed up at my window, slipped beneath the brace, and sat itself at the foot of my bed. Its master was soon to follow, stepping through a window that opened to admit him as if glad to see him arrive.

I could smell sunshine in his wake, leaves and salt spray on the wind that brought him to my room. He crouched there on the windowsill. He had eyes like flint, a mouth set in a line that would make even a smile look grim.

And, eventually, he did smile with hand outstretched, a voice lilting yet ancient. “Are you ready to fly? Just think a little happy thought and it will be over quick as winking.”

The shadow loomed and I felt cold. All I could do was stare past him to those stars, just as cold but ever bright. Second to the right and straight on to the light.

Sharing Neverland with My Child

Yesterday, I reached 22 weeks (5 1/2 months) in my pregnancy and I came to a decision of something I wanted to do. I have begun reading Peter Pan to my unborn child. The story is so enchanting, the memory of it so ingrained in me that I cannot think of not sharing it with my baby. I have a beautiful copy that I believe I received as a gift several years ago. Just reading the first paragraph makes me smile, even with the admittance that “Two is the beginning of the end. (page 1)” I don’t believe that, of course, but that’s the fun of it.

Even now, I’m watching my belly jump and move as my child squirms and stretches and kicks, and I’m imagining him or her running around the house pretending to fly. I want to cuddle my baby and read to them, letting them get to know my voice, my cadence, my love for story, even before they can full realize it. So far we have read through chapter 1 and the first few pages of chapter 2, and I could still feel Baby moving as I read, responding, hopefully, to the becoming-familiar sound of my voice. I want my children to know about conspicuous kisses in the corner of your mouth, to fall asleep safely to nightlights that watch over them, know that Momma is there to tidy up their mind at the end of the day, putting everything back in order and preparing them to have a lovely day tomorrow.

I hope and pray that our child loves books, stories, and reading as much as I and their father do. I shall do my damnedest to foster a love for all the different types of Neverlands with them, as well as explore them with my child. I will be happy to be the dragon that they chase to slay, the fairy to grant their wishes, the evil pirate whom they must battle. I want to hear my child demand of Daddy, “Tell me a story,” and then listen as my husband weaves one of his beautiful tales from mid-air and dances it in front of our child’s imagination. I have always been a Wendy – always been ‘mother’, ‘story-reader’, ‘advice giver’, ‘dreamer’. Now I get to be Mrs. Darling, a little more grown up but still with lots to learn about childhood.

And, I have to admit, I’m rather excited about that. ^_^