Peter Pan Take 2

Last weekend found us looking for a quick present for a little friend’s birthday. The boys thought that he might like a Peter Pan costume like the one that Iain wore for Halloween. I wasn’t exactly sure where the family stood on Peter Pan, but figured it could double as a Robin Hood costume or general huntsman/forest related character. Again Iain made the tunic and the belt. I sewed a quick little hat in the appropriate style. No one was interested in modeling it, so no pictures, but I trust you are all capable of using your imaginations.

Elijah added in one of his famous super-duper paper airplanes. Both boys worked on a card and I whipped up a cute little gift bag to contain it all.

I suspect that others feel that our home-made gifts are starting to lose a bit of their charm. This one didn’t have a chance, what with following on the heels of a light saber! Oh well.

Sometimes I get the distinct impression that some of my kid’s friends are growing up much faster then they are. Not in all ways. No, my own little ones are slowly, ever so slowly, becoming mature, reasonable, kind and honorable young men. Over the years I’ve been observing this progression quietly, with much love and pride. They are quite capable boys, able to do a great many things that I was forced to fumble and find my way with as an adult. No, I think that they are right on track with all of that. But when it comes to the mass media infiltration, they are still very sheltered. Very. And honestly, I have no desire to alter that. I like that they follow their own minds and hearts. I like that we are still their main examples in life (poor ones that we may be at times). But there are moments when I wonder and worry if they will not be left behind. I hope that their joy for life and fun and excitement will carry them through and it will not matter too much when another child suggests they play Batman and they innocently respond with, “Oh yes, let’s play at being bats!” But does the world still work like that? Can someone still get by with being good-natured, pleasant and fun? Or must everyone have a brand name, a logo and a trademarked character to emulate as well?


11 thoughts on “Peter Pan Take 2

  1. Melanie

    I wonder the same thing with my children, who are media free. My daughter is 7 1/2, and my older son is nearly 5- and they are so different from most other kids we see- especially my son, who has no idea who superheroes or cartoon characters are- and he seems so much younger and innocent in comparasin- but then I watch and he is ahead in so many other ways, so many good ways.
    I do worry like you however, that they may be left behind- are they too sheltered? But we are raising them this way for a reason- to foster their imaginations, creativity, and self-confidence- and in the end I know they’ll grow up to be amazing conscientious creative adults some day- hopefully who would rather be outside or creating something than in front of the TV.

  2. Melanie

    Oh- and our gifts are all homemade too- and as the kids get older I too wonder when that simply won’t work anymore.

  3. sarah p

    My daughter is the same. She has had some access to tv, but perhaps because of her general milieu she is completely innocent of modern kids culture. And when exposed to it she finds it bewildering and gross. When she was little it didn’t matter so much, but as she is growing older I can see the gap widening hugely between her and other children who go to school and watch all the popular shows. She has nothing in common with her cousins who are the same age as each other. They consider her to be “young for her age.” Well, they use less polite terms than that, actually! They bully and tease her.

    But I am very happy with the way she is growing up. For a start, she never bullies or teases anyone! The difference between her and kids like her cousins is very obvious – and to me a good thing.

    We have a lot to do with other homeschooled children and that is where my daughter finds others who are just like her. Kids who can watch tv if they want but they don’t want to because there’s always something more interesting to do.

  4. sarah p

    I forgot to say about homemade gifts – we just can’t do this anymore outside of our immediate family because it is so unappreciated. So buy them books instead.

  5. Sarah V

    … But does the world still work like that? Can someone still get by with being good-natured, pleasant and fun? …

    Gosh, I hope so. My kids are still very young so this hasn’t really come into play yet (my oldest is 4 1/2). Plus we tend to gravitate towards people who have similar exposure rates to popular culture. I think that if you have enough of a community who isn’t going to make fun of a kid for not knowing the latest video game or whatever you don’t need to worry about your kids feeling like outcasts.

    Let them be children, I say. Popular culture exposes them to too much, too fast.

    p.s. I love your blog, I’ve been reading for a while but never commented! Sarah

  6. penny

    We feel that here too Melody, and sometimes I think it’s not so much the access to TV that kids have, but the value placed (by adults as well, mind you) on TV and the things that surround it (commercialism, competition, etc) that cause the problem. My kids watch TV (very very limited) but have no idea who the current “stars” are, nor do they wish to emulate them. My younger Dd is in school this year (another subject for another day) – a very private, small school, and she actually gets picked on for not having Nikolodeon and Disney. Insane.

    I admire your authentic life, raising your authentic children – - here’s an idea, let’s put YOU on TV and let the world learn to do it the right way!

    I love my “innocent/naive” children, they may be considered weird by outsiders, but I know they will grow up to be happy, trustworthy adults that will help the planet, not just consume consume
    consume. Now if I can just get that younger one to come home before too much damage is done…

    Be well :)

  7. taimarie

    I wonder these same things too, though my kids are younger. Already I notice differences in the way my child interacts with the world and other children his age. I worry sometimes, but also think that we are raising our kids the way children have been raised for a very long time, and are being raised in most parts of the world- with a focus on family and community and the natural world rather than media hype. Also, I grew up TV free, and though I still don’t “get” some popular culture things (and my friends tease me now and then about not knowing certain things!)I feel glad to have had a childhood full of play and imagination instead of TV characters and commerialism.

  8. Molli's friend Steve

    The Bad News: Hard times are ahead, I fear. I don’t have any experience being a parent of media-less children, but growing up with a similar (albeit for different reasons) outlook on popular culture often made life with my peers slightly-to-extremely difficult.
    The Good News: I found that though I learned to fake or fudge a passable knowledge of pop icons, I retained a (secretly condescending) much wider view of the world around me that served to make me a much more interesting (and above all INTERESTED) person in the long run.
    In short, your kids may grow up more slowly (in some silly ways), but they stand a good chance of growing deep much more quickly than their peers.
    Of course, that’s just what I think of my own horn (don’t I toot it so fine?)
    I feel that eventually life forces most good people to catch up to one another when it comes to empathy and a wider understanding, but TV-suckled children can be delayed in these respects somewhat.
    I predict that your kids will thank you in the long run for the opportunities you have provided them to expand their imagination, increase their empathy and widen the horizons of the world they live in. They should feel much richer for it.

  9. Molli's friend Steve forgot...

    (it wasn’t MY outlook on pop culture, but the strict religious worldview of my conservative christian parents, to whom, for the reasons described above, I am still very very thankful)

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