As a kid, I didn’t like my name. A girl can only hear so many “Wendy’s hamburger” or “It’s windy outside and Wendy inside” jokes.
As I got older, I didn’t think too much of my name. It was just my name. And not until I was pregnant and we were considering potential baby names, did I really stop to think about what my name meant.
Now, I rather like my name. I like the fact that it is common enough for me to find my name on a mug, but not so common that I usually run into other Wendy’s.
It is often said that the name “Wendy” was invented by J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. I’ve been thinking about my name and the famous “Wendy” of Peter Pan fame quite a bit lately as my son and I recently read the Disney Storybook version of Peter Pan. I started comparing myself to this other Wendy, wondering how I measure up.
And as I’m prone to do, I’ve made a list. Here are five things this Wendy has in common with the other Wendy.
- Our names. Peter Pan’s Wendy is formally known as Wendy Moira Angela Darling. Unlike that famous Wendy, I do not have a middle name (something I didn’t particularly like as a child when it seemed as if everyone else did have a middle name). Although I do think we can both be described as “friendy Wendy.”
- Our nicknames. While not exactly a nickname in the Disney version, Tinker Bell did describe Wendy as a “Wendy-bird.” And one of my favorite colleagues when I was a teacher did affectionately refer to me as “Wendy-bird.”
- Our hobbies. The Disney Wendy enjoys telling stories, first to her younger brothers than to the Lost Boys. Likewise, I also enjoy writing stories; however, through the years, my “stories” are predominately non-fiction and my hobby has now evolved into a career for me.
- Our roles. Wendy Darling was a mother figure to the young boys in her life. And for a significant part of my life, I have served as a mother figure as well. I never considered myself “just a teacher” - I was a second parent to my students. And now, for ever after, I am honored to be my son’s mother.
- Our personalities. The Disney Wendy is rather cute and sweet, a generally pleasant girl. She’s a girl with a lot of faith in Peter, and when faced with a dangerous situation, she demonstrated bravery, opting to walk the plank rather than join Captain Hook’s crew. Truth be told, Wendy Darling isn’t a bad character to be associated with at all.