The happiest place on Earth
There is a slight skip in my steps here lately.
Moments of sudden laughter have happened a time or two.
My level of excitement has went through the roof.
I am going to Disney World next week with our son James and my mother.
Come next Tuesday, I will be on my way to the happiest place on earth.
My husband Jason will be staying home with our baby daughter Elsie because he claims not to be ready for the whole Disney experience just yet. But I have a feeling that his mother will be doing some babysitting while he sneaks off to the woods for a hunt.
“But it’s hunting season” was his reaction when I asked if he wanted to join us in Florida.
With Elsie being so young, my mother and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for James to have his own little mini-vacation. He has never been to Disney World, and I am not sure he really understands how exciting it is going to be for him.
I am just as anxious to watch his reactions to all the sights and sounds of the whole experience. When kids are teenagers in Disney World, they are either “too cool for school” or they wander off to do their own thing.
James is at the age where he will be excited to meet Mickey Mouse and get an autograph. The rides will seem amazing to him. And the fun will be unlimited.
I hate to admit it, but I begin to act like a big kid when I am at Disney World too.
Disney World trips have been a tradition for my mother and I since I was two years old. Until I got married to Jason, my mother and I went there every year, sometimes twice in a year.
I can vividly remember the feeling that came over me when I saw the huge Disney World sign you go under on the freeway into the resort area.
There was no time to eat, catch a nap or even take a break. My little body couldn’t hold all the excitement that I had bottled up.
Looking back, I can remember how my Momma would sit back and just watch me. I never understood it then. But now that I am a parent, it’s starting to make sense.
I am sure she enjoyed watching my ear-to-ear grin when I first met Goofy, my favorite Disney character. I would run up to him just like he was a real celebrity. I would wrap my arms around him and shove an autograph book in his face. Flipping through the pages, I would brag about every signature I had in there.
Momma would laugh and wipe my face when I shoved an ice cream snack shaped like mouse ears in my mouth. Those chocolate stains would remain around my mouth for the rest of the day.
Momma would spend more than she probably should on a mouse ear hat with my name stitched on the back of it. I think she must have enjoyed my excitement to have my own hat like they did on the Mickey Mouse Club.
Momma never really watched what was going on with each ride. She always kept her eyes on me to see how I would react. I would cringe at the Haunted Mansion. I would laugh on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I would smile as Dumbo lifted me up into the air. And I even sulked a little on It’s a Small World.
And each night would conclude with a viewing of the Electrical Parade and the magnificent firework show, complete with a flying Tinkerbell.
Tugging at Momma’s shirt, I would point out every light and sound that caught my attention. A few times I would sit in her lap, watching the final seconds of the parade.
And as we made our back to our room, I would usually fall asleep against her chest on the bus.
During all those memories, I can remember how Momma would transform into a carefree, happy person.
She would run with me to hop on a ride. She shoved ice cream on her nose. She would pose with Donald as I took a picture.
She became a kid again.
I know it will be a long drive there. I am sure there will be some lengthy lines. And I know we better have our pocket books ready.
But I am looking forward to making new memories with my Momma and my own son.
I have a feeling I will be running with James, shoving ice cream in our faces and chasing down some characters. I will be more than happy to turn into a kid again with him.
And I have a feeling, Momma will still be watching me.