05 August 2008

Peter Pan, You're the Man

As a kid, I had issues with Peter Pan. I was among the ranks of little girls that couldn’t wait to drive, date, and wear make-up like my sisters. And Peter confused me. He was a kid and wanted to stay that way, never to be cool, sophisticated, and independent.

That’s how I was, wanting to be old, responsible, and spectacular. And then, it was my eighteenth birthday. My entire paradigm changed that day. Concepts like taxes, majors, men, and tuition jumped out at me. Yeah, and I got scared. So it was, on my eighteenth birthday that I joined Peter Pan, the lost boys, in the chorus, “I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up. No sir, not I, not me. So there.”

In an article for TIME magazine: “The years from 18 until 25 and even beyond have become a distinct and separate life stage, a strange, transitional never-never land… in which people stall for a few extra years, putting of the iron cage of adult responsibility that constantly threatens to crash down on them.” He’s got it right when he talks about the “iron cage of adult responsibility.” Adults are definitely restricted and trapped by money and important decisions.

And who would willingly walk into prison?

Growing up means facing worries that furrow our brows and grey our hairs. And while maintaining the color of our hair and our wrinkle-free foreheads is one reason to avoid getting old, Peter Pan had a different reason for staying young and his reason is better. He stayed young because it's just so darn fun. He sings, “If growing up means it’s beneath my dignity to climb a tree, then I’ll never grow up.”

Truth is, someday a well meaning grown up will pull us under their arm and say, “Isn’t it time for you to grow up, be financially independent, and make your own life altering decisions?” And we’ll groan and cringe at the thought, and we'll feel guilty and we'll work on becoming financially stable, but we'll never grow up. With Peter Pan’s secret, we never will.

No one is going to stop us from having fun-- from eating otter pop after otter pop and reading Harry Potter for the sixth time. Who will reprimand us for doing masterpieces in sidewalk chalk or make fun of because we are entertained for hours by a bouncy ball? In 2000 the average age for video gamers is 29. It used to be 18 in 1990. So, let’s stay young, let’s help raise the video gaming average age.

I recently went to Disneyland. The lines for the rides weren’t too long, but the line for the Peter Pan ride was horrific. I didn’t care, I waited anyway. It’s my favorite ride, and he’s my favorite kid. I want to grow up to be just like him.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I love this post Laura! It's so well written and I completely agree with the last line. If time really requires us to grow up, why not grow up like our friend Peter Pan?