THE WENDY BIRD
*Peter Pan and Wendy and its connection to my life with my mum…*
My mum was born in 1937 and was christened ‘Wendy’.
She was named after the famous character in the story ‘Peter Pan and Wendy ‘ written by JM Barrie, founder of The Great Ormond Street Hospital.
‘Wendy ‘ was the girl in Peter Pans life , who, when he was searching for his ‘Happy Thought’ to help him fly and take him from Neverland and the struggles of his life, flew with him out of Neverland to find something he had lost but wasn’t sure he needed..but eventually found, in London.
He initially found through a window , Wendy and her brothers (who became part of the Lost Boys…the boys who stood for all the orphans who had been left and forgotten by Adults or ‘Pirates’. )
Basically people who had let them down even if it was not of their doing.
When we grow up we try to clutch on to our inner child, the part of ourselves who represents utter joy, utter freedom…if we are lucky we can hold on to a part of this within ourselves .
But as we all know this cannot go on forever we all have to grow up. Be responsible….
Going back to my dear Mum, who now at 79 has dementia and has retreated to that childhood status….a mind that lives in the past joys of the freedoms of childhood and at the same time , feels the loss just like a small child of her parents….particularly her father now, who she was inordinately close too.
He too was an orphan, raised in a workhouse in London with no happy childhood freedoms …but still retained the joy and need for freedom, probably because of the restriction and privation of his own childhood and the separation from his brother and sister.
I often muse, now I’m a gran myself the reason why my mum was called Wendy.
A made up name …a rare name and yet one that suits her well.
She , I have realised throughout my entire life retained that ‘lost boy youth’ herself. Her joy, her need to be free but at the same time the sadness and rage towards a mother who didn’t understand her and was impossible to reach emotionally, and then , a Father who loved her utterly, and wanted to protect her from harm .
My father , I know now protected her from so much. He and I would discuss in my teens the need to ‘protect ‘ my mum from family emotional devastation….but it wasnt until he died I realised the extent of his ‘protection of the child within’ if you like.
Mum is an amazing lady has achieved so much as a mum, a role model when it came to learning, work etc which always had an aura shining from her, even pre dementia ….a aura of ‘Peter Pan’.
The need to keep the inner child and laughter alive.
This I recognise in myself but have the other side too, reasoning as an adult like my dad.
So why did I start writing this you ask!?
Because on re reading ‘Peter Pan ‘ and his love for Wendy who became his touchstone to escape to another ‘great adventure’, I muse….why or what did my grandparents,particularly , I wonder my grandpa, see in my mum as a newborn, did he see the ‘Wendy bird’ in my mum?
I wish I could ask because of the nature of just the name itself, I can’t help feeling there was more to the naming than sheer chance.
Mum will always be my ‘Wendy bird’; for her love of childhood, her need for a loving parent , the joy of flying (albeit by plane) the feeling of her joy of life that she has passed on to me.
It highlights why we need to talk to our parents as people not just as parents, to understand them , their past helps us, our child(ren) and grandchildren to see us in a new light . A light always with a glow from Tinkerbell.✨💫
A light that somehow should never leave us even if it flickers faintly.
So look to your dreams, follow that star that leads you to wherever your ‘heart -home’ takes you in the mornings.
To live is an awfully big adventure.
Wendy taught me that.