The Happiest Place on Earth?
As parents, we work to give our kids a good life, we want them to have new clothing that fits and functions well, we pay top dollar for food so they are nourished. Some of us even work extra hours or make sacrifices to take our kids on trips. For the past three years, we've taken our kids to Disney. Anthony is usually gone all summer so we miss out on a lot of fun family summer outings. He has a conference in Orlando every January so we make it a family affair and tack a few days at the theme parks on the agenda. The first year, we did two days, the second we did 3 days at Disney and 1 day at Universal. This year our schedule was limited because we were traveling with a large group. Anthony's family decided to join us in Orlando this year and as a family, we would cruise the Caribbean. We had two days to tour so we chose Epcot and Universal. Truth be told, Anthony and I love Disney just as much if not more than the kids do. I was ok with skipping this year because of the cruise but Anthony really wanted to go. He's the hardest worker I know. When he's away from us he's working 12-15 hour days on his feet. When he's home he's working just as hard for our business.
I had this idea in my head that my kids were going to be so excited and so thankful. I had visions of us holding hands and giggling throughout the park. Dressed in our themed outfits eating Mickey shaped ice cream bars... Well, you know what they say? We make plans and god laughs.
A few days before we left we bought Kendall a Cinderella dress that she insisted on having. It was $59 Cad plus tax. The morning we were heading to Disney she refused to wear it, Morgan refused to wear his shirt and everyone was cranky and fighting. I tried every bribe, I begged, I pretended to cry, I told them how sad I was that I spent all this money on things they won't wear. I lied and told Kendall the princesses would be sad if they didn't see her in her dress. But, they didn't care, not even for a second. I brought Kendall's dress just in case and it hung off her stroller the entire day. Anthony's Brother, and his sister and her family joined us at the park. Once we were all together Morgan made it very clear that he had no intentions of touring the park with us. He was going with his Aunt and his cousin. He was plain mean to me, told me he's with me all the time and wants to get away from me. Every line we stood in he protested standing near me, refused to ride anything with me and cried at lunch when I told him he had to sit with me Like I'm some kind of monster he didn't even know. After a few hours, I decided to enjoy my day with Kendall and Anthony and not worry about the treatment I was receiving from Morgan. An unexpected female emergency took me into a gift shop to purchase some sweatpants. While I was there I saw the clipping dolls Kendall has been raving about since last year. The park was closing in 20 mins so I ran to the ride where she was just getting off and rushed her over to the gift shop as fast as I could to show her. Despite feeling a little unwell and tired I was excited for her to see what I found. We made it over to the store with 10 mins to spare before the fireworks. I took her to the dolls and told her she could pick two sets. She didn't even look! She immediately started chanting that she wanted one of those big circle suckers. She's not even allowed to have suckers! I could only take a few minutes of her unruly behavior before I handed her off to Anthony and stepped outside to watch a small glimpse of the fireworks, alone, hormonal, and feeling sorry for myself.
This day, that I had been waiting a year for did not turn out the way I envisioned. In previous years I left the park in amazement with such a sense of gratefulness. Thankful for what we saw, the memories we made, and the opportunity our hard work had afforded us. This year I left feeling sad, wondering if we give them too much, are they spoiled? ungrateful? do other kids act this way? Are we doing a bad job as parents? The next day we went to Universal and the day was better, we were happier and made nice memories as a family...but even today I'm still pondering those very questions. We don't have any family photos but I'll share the few random ones we took while we were at Epcot, and Universal Studios.
Let me know about your family trips in the comments below :) I would love to hear your stories!
- Megan xo