Children Trying To Fall Asleep

I have a few vivid memories of being put to bed around 7pm when it was still twilight. I would lie there for what seemed like an eternity feeling that it was my duty to fall asleep and desperately trying to figure out how one does that with ease. I remember trying to focus my mind on certain things that I thought would bring dreams. I had seen the Peter Pan animation in a movie theater. When I first saw it I tried to approach the screen and enter it and my mother had to hold me back. I assumed the delightful creatures were real and friendly and wanted me to join them. Back home a few times my mother took a flash light and shined it on my bedroom ceiling and told me to pretend that it is Tinker Bell. I dutifully performed these exercises in imagination but I found the light on the ceiling a disappointing substitute for Tinker Bell. Of course that Peter Pan movie had some song about thinking pleasant thoughts and being whisked away to Never-Never Land. Also there was that song where Peter Pan refuses to ever grow up. In some ways as I consider the movie in retrospect I can see certain false values that were conveyed, well, not false, but potentially harmful. Childhood is a magical time but part of the fun of magic is that it is not real and at some point the show is over and the lights go on.


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