Friday, May 10, 2013

We're going to Disneyland!

We are taking the boys to Disneyland in October. As soon as I made this announcement to friends and family, I knew I was going to hear the negative comments. I have heard many arguments against taking such young children to Disneyland, and have in fact witnessed firsthand the nightmare that can be toddlers who are over-stimulated and exhausted, but stuck in the middle of a theme park where the sights and sounds never end.  I expect each day we are there to have to deal with at least one temper tantrum. Its likely there will be more than that. Benjamin actually gets very hyper and over-emotional in situations where there are crowds and exciting things to see. (Some folks might remember a recent trip to the zoo where he tried to get lost not once, but three times. A child’s leash is in his near future.)

We are still going.

I am especially bugged by the comment ‘well, its for you and don’t pretend its for the kids’. God forbid Greg and I do something for us. We certainly don’t deserve it after working our butts off keeping our home nice and comfortable and the children clothed, fed, entertained, and thriving. Oh. Wait. Maybe we do deserve that. Maybe we deserve to have our family enjoy a vacation together, one that doesn’t involve a family-obligated holiday or wedding or funeral. (Yes, we treat funerals like family vacations. We are celebrating a life and coming together as a family. Don’t judge.)

Maybe we deserve to stay in a hotel and eat out and ride silly rides. Maybe our children deserve to experience some of the magic my sisters and I were exposed to from toddler-hood. We lived 15 minutes away from Disney World when I was age 2- 4 years, and went there often. I had mouse ears before I was 4. My sister Jessica has literally been going to Disney World since she was born. I don’t know exactly what I got out of those pre-memory experiences there, but I will tell you this: I believed in magic until I was over 10 years old, and parts of my heart still does. I find it easy to access wonder and awe at the workings of artists’ imaginations, natures’ miracles, and the power of love in people’s lives. I am not easily jaded or cynical.  I can’t tell you if my early experiences watching magic come to life in front of me as a young young child influenced my way of looking at the world or not- but it certainly didn’t hurt.
Its gonna be all dressed up for Halloween, Greg's favorite holiday. bonus!!

I understand they won’t remember it. I hope in my heart that Benjamin will have some impressions he carries to adulthood because my earliest memories are from about 2 and half years of age, but I know its not super likely. Still, I can’t wait to see the look on their faces. As long as I keep the giant character heads away from Peter, I think he’ll have a really (dare I say) magical time. I can’t wait take them to my favorite places there, and ride the rides I haven’t been on since I was Ben’s size. (not age, he’s like twice the size I was at 2 years old) . Benjamin has never once failed to deliver an amazing reaction to new and exciting experiences (before he freaks out and runs away). He’s actually hilarious when he’s discovered something- it truly is as if no one on earth had ever seen or heard what he’s just seen and heard.

And even though just-turned 2 year old triplets were pretty miserable in the boiling hot June afternoons of Disney World in Florida, and I vowed to never bring a child under 5 into those conditions, I am going to listen to the two women I know who have brought their babies and toddlers to California’s Disneyland. They had a blast. Maybe it’s the difference in climate, who knows. Maybe it’s a difference in attitude. Regardless.

Possibly terrifying for Peter. Will have to take evasive maneuvers, for Peter's sake and also for the sake of the characters should Benjamin decide to add them to his  rabbit/dog/meow meow obsession.