This is our year. This is the year that my family, due to an unforeseen financial windfall and a late Mardi Gras, has decided to visit that place. THE place. The place with the magic. Yep … we are headed to Disney. I was reluctant for a long time. While other families are completely fine taking younger kids to Disney, and I see the merit in that choice, I knew it wasn’t for me. I was worried they would be too young to enjoy it, and I would be too involved with them to enjoy it. Plus I just didn’t want a diaper bag to be in the packing equation. Seriously, friends, I do not miss diapers.
So this is our year. Woohoo! Except … well, I’m not as excited about it as I want to be. I’m not a native, so one of my first introductions to this area was Mardi Gras. Since then I haven’t missed one. My daughter’s first parade was at two weeks old. I stood way in the back with her asleep in a Moby, protecting her ears and body, my husband slightly in front of us in case someone decided to chuck beads our way. I was half asleep standing up. We only made it through one, maybe two, parades. But we did not miss Mardi Gras.
My kids either. They are big-time parade people, and not so much Disney people.
We made a big flourish of the “guess what we are going to Disney!” announcement. I put together a slideshow thanks to iMovie (I can successfully add a Producer cred to my resume). We showed them the castle, the fireworks, the rides. Their response was that lackluster smile and the pretend joy a child can only muster to appease a mama. Kids are exceptionally gifted at working their parents.
Don’t get me wrong, they are excited.
It’s just … a muted excitement. My kids are more YouTube kids. I can’t tell you the last time we watched Frozen or Moana, but If I told my son that Ryan would be doing a toy review there, he’d be all over it. My daughter does love Descendants, so if I could guarantee an Evie showing I’d be her hero, but so far I haven’t been able to make that guarantee. Note to Disney: why aren’t the Descendants more prevalent there? Everyone loves a villain!
Thankfully I haven’t had to do too much planning, thanks to Cupcakes and Castles. Having someone patiently explain to me that I have to think about the trip a full six months prior was extremely helpful. It didn’t take too much research to figure out what my friends were talking about when they asked if I got “the Slinky” but thank goodness I had someone to manage the Fast Pass process. It’s not that it’s a terrible option. It’s just that I’d rather book a trip then let it unfold. I don’t mind having vague times I have to be somewhere as long as I can hang with people I love and enjoy the experience organically. Kind of like Mardi Gras.
I’m well aware that there is privilege in my ability to make this choice.
Disney will never be an annual option for us, even if we go all in. Financially it’s just not in the cards and that’s OK. There are plenty of families that dream of a trip like this and I’m incredibly grateful we get to make it. I know, once we are there, the joy of the experience will make us forget all about what’s happening “back home.” I’m positive my daughter will forget that we are missing Orpheus … eventually.
At the end of the day, it’s all about our family, the experiences we share together and the love we have for one another. Our bond is strengthened with every new adventure, large or small. This is one of the large ones. So I will go, I will smile and plan and keep my heart and mind open for magic. It will be amazing, of that I’m certain. But I would be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that a small part of me will still be here, standing on the back of a ladder, trying to catch a different kind of magic altogether.