Amber and I had a chance last night to see the movie “Finding Neverland” for the first time last night. I have to admit that I am not a huge Johnny Depp fan, but I was excited to see the movie. I was not disappointed one bit.
If you are like I was prior to last night, you may not know that “Finding Neverland” is a movie that is inspired by true events in the life of playwright J.M. Barrie. In a nutshell, Barrie used his time and experiences with a family he had befriended as inspiration to write Peter Pan. Barrie held the belief that it was ok to have a pretend “world” (his was called Neverland) for people to retreat or escape to. He was also able to see things with the same enthusiasm that a child does. One of the themes in the movie, at least to me, was the people want so badly to grow up, but what we don’t realize is that once we have “grown up,” there is no going back to the innocence of childhood as we knew it, even though we spend the rest of our lives in pursuit.
I spent the rest of last night, and a good part of today thinking about what I took from the movie last night. It made me wonder if children do in fact have the ideal approach or outlook on life. Think about it for a minute. Children, by nature, are all about having fun, they are care-free, want nothing more than to play, are trusting, and are truthful. It is only when we decide we want to “grow up” that we lose some of the fun, become stressed out, value play a little less, become less trusting, and learn to deceive. Children also tend to let things go pretty quickly when things start to go wrong, whereas adults will let things linger.
I know I am guilty of wanting to grow up too quickly. I had every boy’s dream job as a teenager when I worked for the Montreal Expos single-A team; but I wanted to grow up, and it showed so much that one of the players even mentioned that I took myself way too seriously. Now that I am a parent, I feel like I am getting a second chance. Kaitlyn wants me to be a part of so many of the things she does, and is always wanting to play; I have gotten better at dropping whatever I am doing to spend time with her. For my efforts, I have been handsomely rewarded. I have made running a part of my life and have run a few marathons and several other races, and now Kaitlyn wants nothing more than to run events with me. We ran our first event back in March, and will be running together this fall and also next spring. Amber and Kaitlyn have also been joining me at a local high school track when I go.
How can we find our own Neverland? How do we recapture some of our childhood?