When first introducing Peter Pan
, the narrator tells us before anything else that Peter is “very like Mrs. Darling
.” He then tells us, as if to clarify, that Peter is beautiful, wild, and hateful toward adults. The “kiss” at the corner of Mrs. Darling’s mouth is a dimple, a smile, a shadow, or perhaps something not visible at all, a charm and an inaccessible depth. Like Peter, the kiss is youth itself: the idea of youth detached from any of the particulars of youth, a visceral sense of childhood as distinct from any actual child. On Mrs. Darling, the kiss is a remnant of total freedom, a small part of her that is safe from the unmagical aspects of life, and inaccessible to unmagical beings (including Mr. Darling
, and, sadly, Wendy
). Only something of its own kind can apprehend the “kiss” – only Peter himself. But what happens then? Whether the kiss disappears forever once apprehended, like a thought that vanishes when pursued, is left mysterious.