(In case you forgot, one of Peter's charms was that he still had all his "little pearls.")
I've been known to say things to Grant like, "If you grow up any more you are going to get a big spanking."
And, "Maybe if we got you a really heavy hat to wear all the time, you'd stay little."
And my heart breaking, "Why, why do you have to grow up!"
This is Grant's birthday week and he was awful. Naughty, disobedient, sassy. I prayed, I enlisted friends to pray, I reasoned with him. Nada.
Finally, he cracked. "I just don't want to grow up! It's so easy to be good when you're little, but it gets harder and harder as you get older! I just want to be your little boy again."
We prayed together and I left bewildered. How in the world do you make growing up appealing?
The morning of his birthday, it happened. The scales fell from my eyes. I was struggling to open the bottle of vanilla and he saw me. "Could I try it Mom?" I almost resisted, he's just a little guy. But I handed it to him and turned to grab the next ingredient. He handed it back....opened. I saw the man emerging. The loving, helpful, good man.
Later that day I sat him down and I said, "Grant, I can't wait for you to grow up."
He looked at me and recoiled, "What makes you say that?"
I answered softly, with years of mother-love dripping from my voice, "Because you are going to be a good man. You are going to be a strong man who protects his family, who stands up for the weak, who seeks God and finds Him."
Grant's head went down, "Do you think so Mommy?"
"I know it."
I gave Peter Pan permission to leave Neverland.