enchanted in magic blingdom

As I sat in the terminal waiting to take off for Orlando, the anxiety began creeping in and I wondered what in the world I was doing. I questioned my instinct to go be with my family, to be a good daughter, to step into kid mecca without the support of M. But I knew this family getaway was the best way I could be the auntie I rarely get to be from so far away. (My brother, SIL and their two kids live 5500 miles away in Europe — I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet them in the middle.) 

I sat there among the many families, kids playing, toddlers running, babies fussing. I sat and wondered how the hell I would get through the week. It would only get worse. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. And repeat…

Next to me on the flight was a father and young son, and in front the mom with another boy. Aside from playing musical chairs the whole flight, the boys were kicking and shoving each other, which became intolerable, even with a good book and my blasting ipod. The father, who had been reading USA Today for over 3 hours (who does that?!), eventually used force to separate them before switching seats again. It was bad. 

I was worried about the heat and humidity, being prone to rashes (and allergic to stress). The weather was absolutely disgusting. 95 degrees with 85 percent humidity. Ewww.

My mom was thrilled I came to celebrate her birthday. I always try to appreciate my time with her, even though she has a tendency to annoy. It’s in the mothering she insists on now that she didn’t provide back then, when I could have used it… but whatever. It was her 70th after all, and I’m lucky to still have her around. 

The highlight for me was basking in the glow of my precious 4 year old niece and (nearly) 1 year old nephew, soaking up their love and affection. I was enchanted by her infectious laughter and his beaming two-tooth grin. There were glorious moments when I was so overcome by pure love that my heart could burst, when I wanted to just get lost in her big rosy cheeks and gobble up his pudgy little legs. For these moments alone, it was worth it. 

I tolerated the heat that makes you sweat the instant you walk outside, the crowds so deep you can’t see in front of you, the endless sea of strollers and parade of families, babies, bellies, and child-centered everything, the rude tourists and lazy asses, the brash consumerism, plastic fairy dresses, synthetic sweatshop-made t-shirts and cheap souvenirs, the wasteful throwaway mentality — all of it. 

I even looked past the “someday-my-prince-will-come” and “happily ever after” fairytale crap peddled by the Mouse and his comrades. I let it all go because I could see it all through the wide eyes of my adorable niece and nephew — their sheer delight as they met Pooh and Tigger, Mickey, Simba and all the princesses, the joy and excitement as we went through “It’s a small world” (the baby went nuts!), the awe and wonder as they explored this kiddie wonderland — I could appreciate the spectacle of it all through their eyes.

lunch at cinderella’s castle

bippity bobbity boo

enchanted

kissed by a princess

With the focus on them, there was not much time for adult activities, aside from good dinners and wine. I did manage to steal away with my brother for a quick ride on “space mountain” — the most exhilarating, thrilling, carefree 5 minutes of the week.

Yet what really made my heart skip was when my brother and his wife, in a quiet moment over dinner, asked if M and I would be the guardians/godparents of their children if anything should happen to them. First came the familiar lump in my throat, then a single tear to the eye. Was it gratitude for the honor? Was it sadness because I’ll never have my own? I don’t know. That they would choose us over other family that live much closer (like in the same country and continent) and speak the same language just touches my heart. Of course I expect nothing to happen to them, but still, it made my week. 

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~ by luna on June 15, 2008.

17 Responses to “enchanted in magic blingdom”

  1. I’m glad that there was a little magic waiting for you in the House of Mouse, after all.

  2. I’m so glad that you survived your trip, and that you were even able to enjoy it a little too.

    I think that it’s a very fitting tribute to both you and the Amazing M that your brother and his wife would ask you to be the guardians of their children. It really must have meant a great deal to you.

  3. Oh, too cute!! It must have been fun, albeit bittersweet, to be able to enjoy Disney through their eyes.

  4. What adorable photos. And what an honor that your brother gave you. I am glad you made it through the week. I am sure it meant alot to your family.

  5. What a lovely,touching thing for them to ask.

    Sweet pics, Luna. I can’t see past all the negatives when it comes to the Blingdom (much like the ones you’ve described) but being able to see it through child eyes surely gives it new meaning. I’m glad you made it through the week. I’m also glad you enjoyed your sweet niece and nephew.

  6. Oh, what a suckerpunch there at the end. Almost like going on Space Mountain (and man, do I love that ride — my first rollercoaster). Makes me almost see the fairytale, too. For real.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I’m a HUGE Disney fan and go to the park at least a couple times a year, but I must admit that I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. Seeing all the babies and thinking about what could have / should have been; it’s just too painful.

  8. Wow… that is awesome how you are able to enjoy your niece and nephew so much. I completely avoid relatives with kids, just too cowardly to deal, but it saddens me to realize how much I could be missing out on.

  9. That is very moving to be chosen.

    I too am a huge Disney fan. I never was, but it came at me out of nowhere a few years ago. Suddenly, I had to go. I get so emotional there–I am their sucker audience. We haven’t been back for a bit and the desire is sort of simmering very lightly. It’s such a strange place.

  10. I am definitely not a Disney fan, for a few reasons, but I can appreciate what it would be like for a child – so innocent, so waiting to amazed. I’m glad the love of your family got you through it all. You’re a braver woman than me.

  11. What adorable little ones – I’m sure those baby smiles alone made the trip worth it!

    I’m so happy for you, luna. I may be biased, but I’d say your bro and SIL made a brilliant choice in picking their children’s guardians. I get the warm and fuzzies just thinking about it.

  12. What great shots of the little ones and what a lovely moment with your brother and his wife. You show a lot of strength in being able to still enjoy the trip and your niece and nephew.

  13. You are a stouter soul than I, Luna! I was really touched by your bro and SIL’s request, and how they saw you as the wonderful loving person you are.

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