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Peter Pan

alec vanderboom

Peter Pan
Sir George Frampton, R.A., P.R.B.S. (1860-1928)
Kensington Gardens, London
Photograph 1999 copyright George P. Landow,

Today I wrote out the bills for the paycheck Jon gets tomorrow. After our trip to Florida, my traffic ticket, our high heating bills and the frantic bribery which is accompanying Alex's toilet training, our squeaky tight budget is far off track. No time to recoup our losses in the near future. The next two weeks will bring us Easter, a trip to my parents house, and Hannah's birthday. At times like these you can only trust Providence and fling yourself on the delightful words of J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan."

"For a week or two after Wendy [was born] it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her, as she was another mouth to feed. Mr. Darling was frightfully proud of her, but he was very honourable, and he sat on the edge of Mrs. Darling's bed, holding her hand and calculating expenses, while she looked at him imploringly. She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again.

'Now don't interrupt,' he would beg of her. "I have one pound seventeen here, and two and six at the office; I can cut off my coffee at the office, say ten shillings, making two nine and six, with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven, with five naught naught in my cheque-book, makes nine seven, dot and carry seven-don't speak, my own- and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door- quiet, child- dot and carry- child, there, you've done it!- did I say nine nine seven? yes, I said nine, nine seven; the question is, can we try it for a year on nine, nine seven?

'Of course we can, George,' she cried. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favor, and he was really the grander character of the two.

'Remember mumps,' he warned her almost threateningly and off he went again. 'Mumps one pound, that is what I have put down, but I dare say it will be more like thirty shillings- don't speak-measles one five, German measles half a guinea, makes two fifteen six- don't waggle your finger- whooping-cough, say fifteen shillings'- and so on it went, and it added up differently each time; but at last Wendy just got through, with mumps reduced to twelve six, and the two kinds of measles treated as one.

There was the same excitement over John, and Michael had even a narrower squeak; but both were kept, and soon you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulson's Kindergarten school." (pg 9-10).

(If you have not read J.M. Barrie's original Peter Pan, or seen Jonny Depp play Barrie in the movie "Finding Neverland", I highly recommend both)

Prayer: Lord, we need your guidance to make prudent financial decisions for our families. Help all Americans, however, avoid Mr. Darling's antics. May we never count the "high" cost of childrearing as a reason to exclude new babies from our families.