What do you call the female version of Peter Pan? by Mairead Walpole

My seven year old son has a way of challenging my perceptions at times.  Tonight’s observation was around growing up, or rather, how not to.

“Why do people want to grow-up?” he asked me while we were having dinner.  I have to admit that, after the day I’d had, coming up with an answer wasn’t easy, but I gave it my best.  He listened patiently, asking questions from time to time or making comparisons to what he’s observed around him.  I was feeling pretty good about how I’d framed things and then he hits me with, “but how come you aren’t always a grown-up?”


My husband is very much a “Peter Pan” kinda guy and there are moments when I am not sure who is a bigger challenge – him or our sons.  In fact, I regularly joke around about having a 4, 7, and 52 year old when people ask me how old my kids are.  I had sort of seen myself as the Wendy to his Peter Pan since I am generally the one who worries about the bills, ensures that meals include the major food groups, keeps some semblance of routine in the children’s lives, and makes the “grown up” decisions in our family unit.  It was something of a shock to find out that my kids don’t view their dad as a big kid at all, but rather that is how they see me at times.

When I asked what it was that made him think I wasn’t always a grown-up he cited a number of things, but it all came down to the willingness and ability to play and pretend as the key difference between a grown-up and big kid who acts like a grown-up when they have to.  “Daddy never wants to pretend his car is a space ship when we pull out of the driveway,” offered my son at the end of our conversation.

I guess I need to count myself the next time someone asks me how many kids I have.

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project and contract manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead reviews books for Crystal Reviews (www.crystalreviews.com) and writes paranormal romance. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.


Filed under life, Mairead Wapole

6 responses to “What do you call the female version of Peter Pan? by Mairead Walpole

  1. christinehusom

    Pretending and imagination is important to writers and kids.

    Kids.I was asking my 4 year old granddaughter about a church she had been to last week and she told me “it was the one where they celebrate dead people.” Celebrate dead people? It took me a second to realize it was the one where she had attended a funeral. I struggled not to laugh hysterically with that one.

  2. Funny – I bumped into this because I’ve been writing a song called “Land of Jive” in which I try to celebrate that part of ourselves we tend to lose over time … the “Pan” part, the part we remember distantly … the way we can find real joy when we get so involved in something (play, work, whatever) so much we lose all sense of time and become . I was wondering what the female version of Peter Pan would be – whether there was a female version. Men tend to make time for the inner boy more than women do the inner girl … or am I imagining this? I find it interesting that you imagined your husband to be Peter and yourself to be Wendy but that you were shown you might be both by your child.

  3. Rosslyn Picton

    I have been trying to find the exact term for female “Peter Pan”, I believe there is one. I have a different take on this topic. I am a single 48 year old woman who has been in therapy for years and it has only been the last year or so that I have uncovered the “co-created” dynamic with my parents. I (karmically), somehow thought that I was a threat to them if I grew up, so I’ve stayed somewhat of a child. I’ve only become completely conscious of this recently. I seem to view the world more through a child’s eyes than that of a mature adult. I’m all for accessing that inner child we all carry inside of us,but I have come to realize that I see People as “Mean” a lot of the time, taking little things so personally, not getting into relationships(fear of committment) etc. I thought that if my Mother saw me as “competition” she wouldn’t be able to handle it. I used to see her as shelter, only now have I begun to individuate. It is difficult to live in the world with this, because I feel so odd. But…..it is never too late to “Grow Up”

  4. lgrseiuegr

    The female version of Peter Pan is Penelope Pan.

  5. Pingback: Most Popular Second Wind Blog Posts in 2013 | Second Wind Publishing

  6. Kayla

    Peta/Petra/Pietra Pan?

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