Friday, 18 July 2014

Peter Pan: learning about a mother's love

I've been thinking a lot about mothering lately. My toddler gets older every day with new challenges, and baby girl is due next week. I know it's just the beginning, and sometimes the pressure of doing things right from the start gets to me. It's nice to be reminded that my love is enough, which is probably why Peter Pan has been one of my favorite things lately. I knew mothers played a key role in the story, but the emphasis had never struck me until recently.

When the Darling children arrive in Neverland, it is the motherly Wendy who receives all the attention. The boys feel the need to build her a house, a place where she is protected and treasured, and then they break into song about her.
Oh what pleasure
She'll bring to us
Make us pockets and sing to us
Tell us stories we've been longing to hear
Over and over!

She'll be waiting at the door
We won't be lonely anymore
Since Wendy
Lovely Wendy's here to stay

We have a mother,
At last we have a mother!
Throughout the story Wendy does these things and much more (like taking pleasure in giving the boys their medicine). She is the embodiment of tenderness as a motherly figure to Peter and the boys. They want someone to care for them. It's as simple as that. There is no criticizing of her ability or lack thereof. She is their mother, and that's all they need.

I know there are many things to be done to be a "good" mother, but all those things stem from the love I have for my children. It can't be measured or compared to other mothers' love, which makes it difficult to know if you're doing everything "right." The most I can do is my best and not judge others, whether those judgments be positive or negative. I am here for my children. When I waste energy on what I think others are doing better or worse than I am, it's taking away my focus from my own children, my ability to love them in the way they need.

In the end, it is Wendy's memory of her own mother's love that draws the children and the lost boys back home to London. I don't think there is a better scene than when the children are reunited with their mother and father in the end, and then the nervous lost boys are equally just as welcomed. There really "could not have been a lovelier sight."

When Peter Pan, the lost boys, and the Darling children speak of mothers, it is always of their own mother. They each defend her as the best, even brag, despite most of them not knowing what their mother was even like. Their faith in their mother's love was all that they had. It made them individuals and confident because they knew that somewhere someone still loved them.

I am grateful for the many wonderful years I have to raise my children. May my love match their faith.

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