Thursday, August 16, 2007
Surviving Disneyland in August
I survived Disneyland in August with four children and my mother. The princesses sparkle, the pirates swashbuckle, but I am the Queen, and I reign on high in Anaheim, even with existential questions bearing down on me like the sun on my shoulders.
As I waited in line for the Finding Nemo ride I asked myself, "Am I crazy?" The temperature gauge on the stroller read 127 degrees. The baby hadn't napped and it was approaching 2 p.m. The attendants told us the wait was about 2 hours. "No, you're not crazy," I heard a voice, sounding a whole lot like Clark Griswold, "You're just getting started."
This is true. How many illogical things am I going to do for my kids? I can think of many I've done so far, steaming in the hot California sun like a lobster waiting to see fictitious clownfish being just one of them. Things like...
Adding another volunteer duty to our crazy busy life because no one else would coach the soccer team - making a u-turn and driving by the doggie being walked because the youngest child didn't get to see it (even though we're late for school) - weeping hysterically while cropping photos on Snapfish - returning to the site of the drive-thru fifteen minutes away because they forgot the Kids Meal toy - checking on thekids sleeping five times during the night after I dared to watch the national news - stitching up the hole in a raggedy t-shirt for the tenth time because it's my son's "favorite"...
I am going to do many illogical things before my kids become parents and take their own kids to Disneyland. Love in itself is entirely illogical, but one of the funnest rides. Surviving Disneyland in August is like surviving parenting. Here's what I mean...
You'll be subjected to a lot of other parenting styles and may even question your own. You'll get close to other parents you otherwise never would have known. You'll have to wait longer than expected, sometimes sooner than you thought, for gratification. Height measurements will differ, and change in the blink of an eye. Eat when you can. Come (or go, depending on how you see it) prepared. Pay attention, they get away fast. Keep an open mind and good attitude. Plan ahead. There are villains and heroes abound. Mom and Dad are the King and Queen, like it or not.
And is it worth it, to embark on the ultimate adventure and go to Disneyland in August? Is it worth it to lay your heart on the line and bring children into this world when you don't know how it will turn out?
For this Queen, the answer is yes. It really is the place where dreams come true.