“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever in Never Never Land!” – Peter Pan
The whimsical world of Peter Pan. Where nearly everything is possible with the help of fairy dust, and you stay young forever. Three adventurous youngsters follow the shadow of a free-spirited young boy, destined for adventures involving pirates, fairies, and mermaids. But alas, they return. Back to their worried Newfoundland Nana and parents who—of course—didn’t even know they were gone. To grow up.
Much like the Lost Boys, my preschoolers are frozen in time. Paused in photographs of toothy grins and messy faces. I know many are overwhelmed by the threenage years, but these were my favorite.
Frozen in Time
You were at the teetering age of not relying on someone for every need while still looking to your person for safety, assurance. Your pudgy hand still found mine when you were afraid. Your waddle down the hall to breakfast got me every time.
Every milestone was a huge deal, and we celebrated with gusto, your eyes lighting up. “I did good?” Filling the gap of confidence you had been lacking.
But my boys returned, as is the way of this foster journey. I won’t see them enter their first-grade classroom or fully learn to read. I won’t see them ride their bike even though I taught them how to use a tricycle. They are flash-frozen in my mind and on my phone with wild hair, shrieking through sprinklers.
Dear Lost Boys
However, just because I am not with you, does not mean I do not have expectations or large, mama-sized dreams for you.
- I hope you will always love to explore and learn about the world around you.
- I hope you will have a kind hand toward others because you know what the opposite can do.
- Stand up for yourself. If someone hurts you, tell someone and keep telling until someone listens.
- I hope you will always love books as much as you did here and that you devour words.
- Build things. Use your hands to learn, express, and shape your world.
- You are more than what has happened to you. Stay strong.
- Feel all of the things. You are allowed to have emotions and to express them in healthy ways.
- Keep dancing. I hope your moves improve before the Junior High dance, but you do you.
- Grow your imagination and stay insatiably curious.
- Remember that we love you and God loves you—no matter where you are.
You are so brave, darlings. Most adults can’t handle what you have in your short years and still manage to love with such abandon.
To my Lost Boys, with love.