Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap years

Tonight I started reading to Luke and Sam The House on Pooh Corner. A.A. Milne is one of our favorites (If you haven't read these to your kids, it's time!). But this time around the Introduction (or Contradiction) made me cry. We learn Christopher Robin grows up. And out of the Hundred Achre Wood (sort of).

I just can't take it sometimes!

Five to six, eight to nine, ten to eleven. Such a change. Each year producing almost a new creature. Years are leaps at these ages. Not the small steps I take now.

Does anyone care that I was smack dab in the middle of Peter Pan when I got my scan results last month? I haven't had the courage to pick it up, because I know what happens and I know what was happening while he was writing it. He was watching boys grow up.

There is this part in the movie Finding Neverland (it is about James Barrie and how Peter Pan came about, not sure how accurate it is but...) where the oldest boy George is talking seriously to James about his mother's serious illness. James says, "Magnificent. The boy is gone. In the last 30 became a grown-up." I see that same look as George in my James' eyes when we talk about Heavy Things. I was first diagnosed with cancer when he was 6. He would plug his ears whenever it was brought up in conversation. But now he takes it...almost like a man.

Sometimes I think I can stop this great change, but there is nothing strong enough to hold it back. I'm just glad I get to see it all unfold. The coming of age right before my eyes. It is fantastic.

I'm thinking if Barrie and Milne can capture boyhood so beautifully, maybe it never really leaves them. They might always be, at heart, that treasure-seeking, blood-thirsty, stick-throwing, rock-collecting boy.

I like to think so.

James still puts his fantasy books down every now and then at bedtime, and pops his head in to listen to our childish stories. Tonight was one of those nights. I wonder if he remembers laughing at just the same parts his brothers are now giggling at.

I feel so happy when I think that we have spent many of our afternoons playing Poohsticks in the river and skipping rocks. Because this is only an option for so long. Eventually those little boys step out of the Wood.


  1. I can attest that they never completely grow up, at least the good ones don't. Peter is still such a kid. Thanks for writing this, I've been having one of those weeks where I keep thinking, "this is what my future with three boys is? Jumping off couches only to land in emergency rooms?". But we wouldn't really want it any other way, right ?

  2. So very sweet. You're such a great writer!

  3. Oh my that was the best post about boys i've ever read. I'm going to buy that for Peyton for his bday. One day the book you write post cancer will be a best seller!

  4. I absolutely love these books. The part where Christopher Robin says goodbye to Pooh makes me bawl like a baby every time I read it--actually, it makes me cry just thinking about it. Thanks for posting--these are enchanting days.

  5. Do you think you might be related to Mr. Barrie? He'd be proud to claim you. You might teach him a little about writing. I love Milne . . . hush, hush, whisper who dares, Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

  6. :(

    I want to go play Pooh sticks now.