My Kids Won't Remember Going To Disney. And That's Okay.

Adeline wore her sparkly Minnie Mouse ears to daycare today.

She was wearing a Minnie Mouse dress so they were the obvious accessory choice.

I bought these ears for Addie when we were at Disney in January. They were $25 and Jared was sure that she would lose them before we even got home from our vacation but I didn't care. They were silver and sparkly and they brought her so much joy. She needed to have them.

Well, truly, I needed her to have them.

Because let's be honest. The three Disney trips that we have gone on since Judah was born haven't really been about our kids. After all, they won't even remember them.

Yes, I said it. Yes, I know it.

We have, at this point, spent tens of thousands of dollars taking our kids on trips to Disney World that they will not remember.

Guess what?

It's not about them.

They may not remember these trips in five years. They may not even remember them in one year. But the magic that they experience in the moment is absolutely priceless. And the joy that it gives me is boundless.

Adeline is absolutely in love with "'Punzel." She could watch Tangled on a loop all day long. She knows the words to every single song and requests them on the drive to daycare most mornings. The only way I get her to let me brush her hair after a bath is by reminding her that Rapunzel has to "brush and brush and brush and brush her hair," sung to the tune of the song from the movie. She wears her Rapunzel gown casually around the house for a lazy afternoon. (But doesn't everyone?) I know she's being Rapunzel when she starts calling me "Mother" instead of "Mommy." Rapunzel might just be the most important woman in her life. 

On the very first day of our most recent Disney trip, we had a FastPass to meet Rapunzel herself. We came prepared. We knew our luggage might not make it to the hotel in time so we packed the Rapunzel gown in my carry on and we changed in the airplane bathroom before we landed. 

Finally, it was time. We approached Rapunzel, who immediately greeted Adeline with, "Hello, Princess!" 

For several minutes, Rapunzel whispered in Adeline's ear while she hugged her and rubbed her back. I couldn't hear what she was saying but I could see Addie nodding and quietly saying something back to her. The photographer waited patiently while my daughter enjoyed this sweet, intimate moment with her hero. As their conversation wrapped up, he said, "Okay, Princess, look at me!"

She turned around and I immediately welled up with tears of joy. I will never forget the way that her little eyes were shining. Her dearest wish at two and a half years old had just come true. 

She may not always remember it. But I will remember it for as long as I live. 

Judah takes after his Mommy. His anxiety makes it difficult for him to relax and truly enjoy a lot of things. But he doesn't have that problem at Disney World. 

On our last trip, it was unseasonably cold in Florida. While everyone at home was dealing with two feet of snow, we were dealing with temperatures in the 40's and 50's at Disney. We hadn't packed for that kind of weather so we had to put on the layers and suck it up a little bit, especially at night. 

One night, as we were getting ready to leave for Magic Kingdom, I said that we would find somewhere to get a warm drink at the park. A few minutes later, we walked through our hotel lobby and were greeted by a cast member who was serving free cups of delicious hot chocolate. 

Judah, sipping his hot chocolate, looked up at me with a huge grin and said, "It's Disney, Mom. We just say something and it appears." 

He's not one for pictures with characters but he did ride Pirates of the Caribbean - which I was sure would terrify him - 5 times. He and I dipped into Carousel of Progress to get out of the rain one afternoon and I know that some people find that attraction boring but he still talks about it and sings its theme song, "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow." He tells me on a weekly basis that he's a better driver than I am and when I tell him that he's never driven a car, he reminds me that he drove me around at Tomorrowland Speedway. 

He won't remember all of those things. But I will never forget how carefree and full of joy my sweet boy was over the course of our Disney days. 

I have been a big fan of all things Disney since before my children were born and I will remain a big fan long after they leave the nest. And when they do, they won't remember all of the details of our Disney vacations. But I will. And I'm sure I will cherish those memories then even more than I do now. 

Disney may not be your thing. But, surely, there is something in your life that brings you joy and that you know would bring your children joy as well. 

Don't wait. Do it now. If you wait until they're going to remember it, you're going to be waiting until some of their capacity for magic is gone. 

They won't remember. But you will. And, sometimes, that is more than enough. 


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