The Paris Review

Sorry, Peter Pan, We’re Over You

Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood.

On the day before Halloween, my son’s teacher tells me, with the seriousness of a funeral director, that Noah has decided he does not want to be Peter Pan after all. Noah stands close beside her and he is dead serious, too, as if after she breaks the news he will be the one to show me the pine box where Peter Pan now sleeps. The furrow in Noah’s brow deepens and I imagine planting in it ranunculus, heliotrope, chrysanthemum. Flowers we can pick to take with us when we pay our respects to the boy he has chosen not to be. His teacher speaks in a hush. “He’s decided instead…” she says. “Shit,” I think. Unlike Wendy Darling who can sew shadows onto the foot of a boy who will never grow up, I can’t sew. But weeks before I had ordered the whole costume from Etsy: the green felt hat, the quiver

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review7 min read
I Am the Tooth Fairy
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. “I know you’re the tooth fairy.” Noah, my eight-year-old, looks me dead in the eye. We are out to dinner. A large television hangs from the wall. Without blinking, h
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: A Cold, Wet November Morning
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review1 min read
You Used to Tell Stories
“There was a time when drawing and writing were not separated for you. In fact, our ability to write could only come from our willingness and inclination to draw.” So begins Making Comics, the latest book from the artist and writer Lynda Barry, who’s