Hi Kids! It’s mom here. I’m writing to you at the tail end of our Disney 2018 adventure. We haven’t been here since January of 2017. We were supposed to come in January of 2018, but your sister’s impending arrival put a little crimp in those plans, so here we are, ten months later. Isabel is with us, and we all agree the delay was so worth it.
I wanted to commit to memory some things about 2018’s trip. Sometimes, years after we take these trips, when we’re back in the most magical place on earth, and your favorite place to be, I get flashes of memories and I think ‘I should write that down before I forget!’ So, here I sit, on the patio of our Grand Villa at Saratoga Springs, writing it down before I forget.
First and foremost, I want to remember what it felt like for all of us to be together. This is Ally’s Junior year of high school. It is a little bit of a question mark how long she will be able to come with us. Although, she insists it is forever. I want to remember that, because forever is a hard promise to keep. I want to remember what this little girl looked like when she met her beloved Mickey Mouse. This was her first visit, and it didn’t disappoint. She RAN through the parks with reckless abandon, searching for that mouse. We finally found him at a character breakfast. A $900 character breakfast that Disney paid for because of a mistake they made with our reservation. Let’s remember that too, not because of the mistake, that made me cry, because it was a doozy, but because sometimes mistakes are huge blessings in disguise.
I also want to remember this face. Gigi finally had the language to understand ALL of what was happening around her. She marveled at the interpreted shows we saw. Thank you Disney, for providing ASL interpreters, it means the world to this girl. She has named all the characters, this one is ‘Carrot Nose.’ She was THRILLED to meet him. She knows he is friends with ‘Princesses, Frozen’ and I interpreted as she asked him all about them, in ASL. ‘Princesses, Frozen, where? You are friends! Tell them, COME!’ Carrot Nose, couldn’t make them appear, but she was cool with that too. Hugs and onto the next thing! She has grown so much in her time in our family. What once would have caused a complete meltdown is now explained to her and she simply moves on. Thank God for language.
I want to remember how the Christmas decorations were just going up as we got here for this trip, how we’ve never seen that before, and how excited all of you were. They appeared overnight and you all declared it ‘magic.’ I want to commit to memory how you all believe, so wholeheartedly, in magic.
I want to remember that this was the year that Cate posed for photos with a sass that only she could pull off, and only at this moment in time. I took about 1000 pictures of you, Cate, because of this moment in time.
I want to remember that this year, at the age of 8, was the year that Bowen FINALLY reached 40 inches tall and got to ride a rollercoaster. I want to remember what that did for his self-confidence, and how he declared himself no longer little. He is now ‘a middle’ in our family.
I want to remember our bigs. I want to remember how Ally spent all day wrangling strollers, without ever being asked, she just did.I want to remember how Cam, Brady and AJ set down their phones, chose not to venture off on their own when offered, and spent all day in the Magic Kingdom riding all the little kid rides with their younger siblings, because they believe in magic too, just a different variety.
Kids, I want you to remember me at this moment too. Because, the days are long, but the years go by so very fast. I want you to remember how much fun this was for me too, even when I had to yell “WALK THIS DIRECTION!” in my drill sergeant voice to get us to the next ride.
I want you to remember that you all are my joy, my magic. All 12 of you.
I also want you to remember that I can whip a tea cup better than ANY of you.–FullPlateMom, who got her teacup whipping ability from her dad, and who plans to keep passing that on to future generations.