It’s been a little quiet around here because we went on a vacation. I didn't tell you guys because I still get all freaky weird about telling the Internets I’m leaving my house. It's truly an act of kindness though. I’d just hate for someone to go through the trouble of breaking in here only to discover our nicest item is our DVD player, purchased seven years ago as a wedding gift.
We’re not exactly on the cutting edge of technology ‘round here. Especially considering we watch said DVDs on an old-fashioned tube TV. Truth be told, Steve Jobs impacted every other person in the world but me. I don't own anything with a small "i." Even an iTunes account.
Shameful, I know but I'm derailing here.
Last weekend, my little brother graduated from a military academy in Alabama and as his graduation gift and our Christmas gift, my parents took all of us to Disney World after his ceremony.
Now I’ve been looking forward to this trip more than I’ve been looking forward to eating butter again. WHICH SHOULD SAY IT ALL, Y’ALL. We had been keeping it a secret from Madeline and I just could not wait to tell her.
Her best friends have gone to Disney several times and she has asked me over and over if we could go. I was so very excited to tell her she was going to see the princesses, Mickey and Minnie. I was so excited to watch her glimpse Cinderella’s Castle for the very first time.
And you don't even know the very best part yet. We would be in Disney on her fifth birthday. Can it get any better than being in Disney on your fifth birthday?? I would like to submit that it cannot.
Before we left, I registered an 11 on the expectations scale, with 10 being “strong possibility of peeing my pants excited.”
But then my little girl got sick the night before we left. And then she was sick for five more days. Which meant she got better the day before we left.
SAD TROMBONE TIMES ONE THOUSAND.
At times the trip was so painfully disappointing, I thought I might not even blog it. One afternoon, I cried during Madeline’s entire nap. I knew I was being melodramatic about my first world problems but dang. It sure felt good to finally throw a pity party.
But you know what? There truly is magic at Disney.
Whenever Madeline stepped foot in a park, I forgot how poorly the trip had gone. I forgot about the hours spent on the phone with the pediatrician, at the urgent care centers and at the pharmacies. I forgot how my expectations were dashed. I would even forget how I had been fraught with worry earlier while watching her writhe in her sleep, delirious from a high fever.
Madeline loved every minute she was in a Disney park and watching her twirl with Sleeping Beauty or dance through Epcot in her Minnie Mouse ears healed my disappointed heart.
So I’m going to blogged each day. The good. The bad. The ugly.
I learned there's truly magic at Disney and I learned something else. Being a parent means expectations and plans are constantly dashed. Since coming back, I've heard story after story from friends and family about vacations that were interrupted by illnesses. How the parents paid gobs of money unexpectedly. How expectations were left unmet. And I realized this trip is just another inauguration into parenthood.
I want my family to be a family that laughs so we don’t cry. I want us to have memories aren’t just made from the gooey happy moments because those other experiences -- the disappointments, the pain, the changed plans -- those knit our hearts together even more.
I could only love this picture more if Joe were in it. Our hearts were knit tighter when we laughed hard after looking like crazy people, tearing through Animal Kingdom in a monsoon downpour to catch the evening bus. How Madeline laughed hysterically when our sopping clothes left puddles on the seats. How I giggled watching Joe ran like a triathlete with our double stroller, realizing - a mile behind him - that I wouldn't last one leg on "The Amazing Race."
So I'll write this trip down because even if nothing went as planned, I still have this magical picture with two beautiful children and one hot husband.
I have the amazing privilege and gift of being a wife and mom. Life is sweet.