And so it begun.
"Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on."
"While she slept she had a dream. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had broken through from it. He did not alarm her, for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also."
"The dream by itself would have been a trifle, but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew open, and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted about the room like a living thing and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. Darling."
"She started up with a cry, and saw the boy, and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs. Darling's kiss. He was a lovely boy, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth. When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her."
all text in italics, taken from J.M Barrie.
This is what I meant when I said that I was not going to come with a watered-down Disney version of this most magical character. I have nothing against Disney, if only for the relentless commercialization of childhood that seems to pervade their every move. However, my children love some of their movies, and while we try to read their first the books and fairy tales upon which many of their movies are based upon, sometimes that is not quite possible.
Peter Pan is an amazing story. One draped with adventure, imagination, and the world seen through the eyes of a child and the anguish of an adult. I learned many things while working on this set of dolls, things about the author and his motivation to write this story (some seem to believe he based Peter Pan on his little brother, who died quite young and his mother never really got over it). I learned things about faeries, and about mental islands, about dreams and writing, about dollmaking challenges, and also about my own children, who seem to like the way I tell them stories better than any book or any movie.
I hope this set of dolls sparks your own imagination, and it motivates you to read to your own children. Real books, with substance and weight and real words in them. That yes! prompt many questions, and many detours as we try to explain, but that fill your children's minds with adventure and with their own interpretation of what Peter Pan looks like, who he is and what he is all about.
I am forever grateful to the family who gave me the chance to bring my imagination to life, through this set of dolls, and I can only hope that the girl who will receive them still has many years ahead of her of wonderful abandon to her own dreams. Her childhood has been quite magical and these dolls will mark her entrance into yet another magical stage in her life. But Peter Pan might come and pay her a visit, one day, when she is sleeping by the foot of her own children's bed, and she will remember all those days and nights, playing with her dolls, and the magic she felt will be transmitted to her children. THE most wonderful adventure!