Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The Preschool Mommy | Posted on 07-08-2012
Tags: Disneyland, Gina Perkins, magic, Princess, spontaneity, wonder
Have you ever draped your body precariously across your baby’s car-seat, bare-breasted and nursing, inhaling the stench of cow manure while cruising the I-5? I have. Last weekend, as a matter of fact. And it was awesome.
Last Friday at 1:00 pm, I sent my husband a text that read, “Let’s go to Disneyland.” We are not known for our spontaneity as a couple. We’re typically very methodical in all of our decisions, but something got a hold of me and I craved a change of scenery. I was stunned when he replied back, “I say screw it, let’s do it!” I squealed with delight – we were being crazy! Woot woot – we still had it!
We booked a cheap hotel, bought our park admission tickets online, arranged for my mom to come and take care of our pets, packed up our suitcases and the car and hit the road around 8:00 pm. Several stops later, we arrived in Anaheim at 3:00 am. It had been quite a journey as we had endured kids too excited to sleep soundly, kids wanting to eat, kids needing to pee, kids objecting to our music choices, etc. Overall though, we actually felt blessed, because in between all of the chaotic moments, we (my husband and I) got some time to catch up and talk without interruption every 2 minutes.
We decided to wait until we entered the park to tell DJ where we were. She had only known that we were “doing something really special.” Of course, when she woke up at 6:30 am (after only 3 hours of sleep for the hubs and me), she was full of questions. We very slowly made our way out the hotel door after some horrid in-room coffee and a laughable continental breakfast. My husband and I grew more and more excited as we approached the gates and got swept along with the anxious crowd.
“DJ, do you know where we are?” “No.” “We’re at DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!” Blank. She went blank. No reaction at all. It was kind of hilarious because we had so anticipated a happy dance of epic proportions. Um…..ok. Maybe she’s just tired. Oh man, could her non-reaction actually be because she didn’t quite understand what Disneyland was?
Once we got onto Main Street, DJ’s face lit up. It clicked! She wanted out of the stroller, and once her feet hit the ground, she began jumping up and down. It was AWESOME. And in that moment, my husband and I sauntered through another parenting rite of passage. We had surprised our three year old with a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth. We had driven all night, and woke up in the Promised Land. We had done what our parents had done for us once upon a time. We felt grown up, as if our sweet children somehow became more our own. DJ would always remember this.
It was magic. Pure magic. As DJ met Ariel, Aurora and Rapunzel, she floated with joy. Her eyes lit with wonder, as she gained the understanding that all of her favorite characters were real. At night, we watched Tinkerbell fly through the sky during the fireworks show and DJ watched “pixie dust” light up the darkness. She wore her Princess dress with utter pride, and stayed awake until closing time. Never have I loved “It’s a Small World” like I do now that I can picture my children’s faces as they took in every detail.
This is what life is all about. Seeing the things that we’ve taken for granted through the eyes of our children. Whether the magic of Disneyland, or the wonder of a Rollie Pollie crossing over a sidewalk – we need to slow down and see the world around us for what it is….a place riddled with newness and adventure.