It has been two weeks since I returned from that magical trip to Walt Disney World with my grandchildren. Some of you have said you were looking forward to hearing more about the holiday. To those people, I apologize.
My apology is two-fold. On one hand, I have been incredibly busy since getting back. On the other hand, and actually the more important of the excuses, is that, quite frankly, it has been hard to put the experience into words. Yes, I could give you a nice exposition on how the parks were not all that crowded, therefore the wait times were not bad. I can tell you how this enabled us to accomplish much more than we imagined we’d be able to. But this could never fully express what took place during the Labor Day weekend.
I continue to look back and as I do, I come to understand that this trip was, for me at least, not about the experiences. It was about the emotions! It was about how I reacted and how I felt as I watched my babies experience the magic for the first time.
It was about that rush of excitement I felt as I watched and listened to Devon and Shelby help Mickey count down to the park opening. It was about taking baby steps so that 2-year old Jackson could keep up with us as we walked into Town Square. It was about finally giving free reign to my tears when I heard my granddaughter’s very audible gasp when she turned onto Main Street U.S.A. and said, “Oh look Papa, the Castle. It’s beautiful!” It was about us taking our first flight with Peter Pan over the streets of London and then to hear Devon say, “We’re in Neverland!” It was about waltzing with my granddaughter in the lobby of Mickey’s PhilharMagic and reaching out with Devon to grab the apple pie. It was about holding Shelby tight as we took the plunge on Splash Mountain and “The Grimsley Men” trying to pull the sword from the stone and laughing at our combined inability to do so. It was about smiling at my bride riding beside our princess on Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel and riding Dumbo for my first time ever with my grown son and both of us being very happy.
It was about watching their first meeting with Mickey and Minnie, and then watching Jackson warm up to the characters as the weekend progressed; so much so that he would fight his brother and sister so that he could stand right next to each of the Fab Five in the Epcot Character Spot. It was about watching him break away from his Daddy and run up to each character to give them a hug.
It was about so many things. So many more things!
It was about being able to cry openly in broad daylight, in public, simply because I was too happy to hold my tears inside. It was about “really” becoming a child again for the first time in a long time.
It was about – well, it was about magic!