“Neverland is home to lost boys like me, and lost boys like me are free.” -Ruth B.
My son is eight … eight going on growing up way too soon. This is the boy who reads novels, the boy who learned quickly how to beat his mommy in Chess, and who now rolls down the window every day to call her name, and wave a grinning goodbye to his favorite girl from class.
And I watch.
And I try my hardest to remember it all – every moment of him.
He is blessed with a healthy balance of intelligence and curiosity, and maybe just a little too generous a dose of mischief. With a light dash of freckles across his smile-crinkled cheeks, he is beautiful … and I still … all these years later, can’t believe he’s mine.
There are days I think about him before, when he was just bits of smiles and coos. And I remember Jodi Lynn Anderson’s words from the book Tiger Lily, “I knew I’d miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice.”
While I agree that love is singular, it also has a beautiful way of recurring in just the right way – at just the right time. Last night, the sky was crowded with clouds that stretched and pushed the weight of their weightlessness across the atmosphere. Every so often, they would flicker and glow from within, lightning playing its own version of catch-me-if-you- can. He was mesmerized, and asked me if we could go outside together, and watch the sky. So we did. And in an instant I was taken back to my own childhood, sitting on the porch with my dad … watching until the storm got too close. The inverse brought me back to a tight hug, and an inquisitive, “Oh mom, did you see that one?” And I did. I saw every filament of light that filled his blue eyes, as he searched for the wonder in mine.
Love may not, “happen twice” the same way, but there is something unequivocally magical about seeing it come full circle. And in my son, like his mother, and papa before him, I see a place, “… where dreams are born, and time is never planned.” (J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan) He is caught up in the possibility of, “What if?” He is enchanted with the world of pretend. He believes without doubt or question in things only imagination can offer. He is my lost boy … growing up much too fast, and forever ageless, all the same.
Searching for Neverland,