Number 17 on my Lifetime To Do List is to see the Peter Pan statue in person (in Kensington Gardens). Like most children growing up, I was absolutely obsessed with the story of Peter Pan, mainly introduced by Disney's animated version. I was such a foolish little girl with this story. (I think I actually had a little crush, before I knew what that was, on the cartoon version of him!) I remember watching the movie constantly and thinking that I want to fly away to Neverland. I want to fly around with Peter, I want to fight pirates with him, I want to rest on a cloud, I wanted to move that hands on "Big Ben," I wanted to take of The Lost Boys, and I wanted to sail away on Captain Hook's ship after Peter took. I'm honestly not a jealous person by nature, I may secretly wish I had something someone else had, but then I turned those feelings into "how can I get my own version of that." However, I was EXTREMELY jealous of Tiger Lily, when she nuzzled him, and Wendy, for having his attention. I related too much (for my own good) with Tinkerbell.
I was SO obsessed with this movie/story that I seriously believed he was tangibly real and he was destined to find me. I used to stare out of my bunk bed next to the window and search the clouds for the ship. I even pushed out the mesh screen covering my window and left my window (right next to my bed) wide open or cracked for him to come get me. It was my way of showing him he was allowed in. A little scary to think of it now, because someone could easily climb to the overhang next to our window and snatch me in the middle of the night. At this time I was 4-5 years old and shared a room with my younger brother. I was worried once I had to move to my own room on the other side of the house. I feared he wouldn't be able to find me or thought I no longer waited for him. I did the same thing to my window and continue to wait. Luckily, my window didn't have a overhang or anything near it and you couldn't easily access getting in the window unless you had an obnoxious, heavy duty ladder or could fly. (A little safer!)
Unfortunately, I grew up and slowly stopped believing he was tangible. I remember seeing something on television about "The Making of Peter Pan" or something similar. Only thing I remember was the statue and Kensington Gardens. Since then I've always wanted to see it. You could say that Peter Pan sparked my obsession with England.
When I went to visit London for a day there were only two things I wanted to make sure to do, seeing this statue in person. Seems like any simple statue, but it has a lot around it. Unfortunately, I was distracted by it in person that I forgot to take pictures of the statue more closely. This was one of the things I researched beforehand and found out that some people found it difficult to find, so I took notes. I think we had a slight detour, but we easily figured it out and found it! I want to go back again!
I've done a little more reading of the story and how it came to be. Interesting to read it all, especially what happened to all the original "Lost Boys," the Llewelyn Davies boys. (Even Peter.) The most intriguing thing to learn is that in J. M. Barrie's will he sold the rights to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and they still benefit from it to this day! That makes me love the story even more. Here are a few of my own snapshots. (Wish I was more of a "snap happy" person back then!)