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Growing Up

img_4016“It’s supposed to hurt—that’s how you know it meant something.”

When we’re little, we fall. We scrape, bruise, nick, cut, burn. And then we heal. Forgiveness comes easily; hurts are forgotten. And we climb right back to the top of the monkey bars, completely unafraid.

As we grow, we learn. We learn that it isn’t grown up to climb trees or that you’ll burn yourself on your food if you don’t wait for it to cool down. They’re practical pieces of information, taught to us by our families and teachers in order to set us safely along the journey of life. The lesson, however, does not stop there. Somewhere along the way, we learn that magicians are really performing “tricks” and that, no matter how many happy thoughts you think, your toes will never lift from the ground of their own accord.

And just like that, we’re grown up.

It’s not hard to see why Peter doesn’t want to grow up. Grownups have lost their wonder, their innocence—everything Peter has always wanted. For, in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, we learn that Peter has lost that wonder too much too soon. Grownups have taught him the hardness of life at too young an age. He’s abandoned and robbed of his happiness, his freedom, and even his name. Sadder yet, he’s used for their personal gain.

img_4184If this is sounding a smidge depressing, have hope; for friends are made, remarkable events are about to happen, and magic is about to be rediscovered.

It’s all set in motion as soon as Peter meets Molly Aster, a young starcatcher apprentice on a mission. Adventure pits them against impossible odds, and Molly begins to restore Peter’s faith.

And as we all know, “To have faith is to have wings.”

There are so many reasons why I love this story. I absolutely adore scouring prequels for little hints and nods towards its inspiration. On the surface level, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is full of those moments. So many, in fact, that it’s a Peter Pan fan’s dream come true. Then there’s the matter of Molly Aster. It’s inspiring to see a young woman so decidedly set as the hero of the story. She’s intelligent, witty, and brave—everything I wanted to be as a little girl and everything I hope I’ve become as a woman.

However, the most important reason I love this story is that it reminds our grownup hearts of a time when anything felt possible and we did believe in fairies and good always won. Through Peter, it reminds us that we don’t have to grow up, at least not completely. Through Molly, it reminds us that growing up does hurt sometimes, but that’s because it means something. And that’s alright so long as we keep the magic in our hearts.

We all need to remember that.


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