Life is not entirely about having fun. Life is about equal parts pleasure and work. Life is relative. We do not know the value of our luxury until we have had to work for it. Only a child wouldn’t understand.
All their lives, children live in a disillusioned world. They don’t have to work for food, a roof over their head or a warm bed at night. These are the responsibility of adults. To make a child understand is a hard thing to do. Try too hard and you look like the antagonist. Don’t try hard enough and the child becomes a spoiled brat.
This is the lesson I tried to teach Peter. I was not his father, but he had been long abandoned by his family, replaced by another child. It was easy to understand the hurt and pain that he had endured, but a child’s mind is irrational and the pain forced Peter to refuse to grow up. A childish solution invented by a childish mind.
Over the years, Peter abducted children from their homes; convinced them that growing up was a horrible thing and that in choosing childhood, the children would be forever released from their obligations. It would take falling in love for Peter to understand that life as a child was not always perfect, not always free from worry. I tried showing him. I did battle with him to prove that there were limits as to what children could do; they had no power against adults in a world that favoured the learned, the experienced, but he could not understand. Looking back, I could have been as childish, stubborn and erred greatly in my judgement. How could I, a fully grown adult expect a child to be at the same intellectual level as myself? How could I reason with a mind that had not yet developed the ability to think rationally? What did I really think I could accomplish?
Perhaps it was Peter’s imagination that allowed him to prevail and all along, I was the fool, I was the naïve child who knew nothing about growing up.