I’m sure you’re all getting tired of hearing about this big ol’ road trip I went on, but there were some many experiences that occurred over the course of that week and a half that seem ripe for philosophizing over. As has been previously mentioned, the actual destination of our trip was kept as a surprise for our children. But that wasn’t the only surprise planned. In fact, there were surprises planned for at least one of the children for almost every day of our vacation. Day 1 had two big ones, breakfast with Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch, as well as the grander surprise that we were actually at Disney World.
Day 2 found us at Animal Kingdom, where we had lunch with Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy. That one, as well as the prior day’s breakfast, was intended to be more for my son, who is currently in a deep infatuation with Walt’s initial cast of characters.
Day 3’s big surprise was one that my daughter had been begging for ever since my wife initially told her about it. . .yet, in my book, we did this one more for mom than daughter. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique:
My wife and I have been visiting the world of the mouse semi-regularly over the past 10 years, and once she heard about the existence of this place where little girls could be given complete makeovers into adorable little princesses, she needed to get a kid in there. Well before we had even discussed kids (or got married for that matter), she wanted to get a kid in there to experience this, going so far as to talk about bringing down one of our nieces and footing the bill. Fast forward about a decade and, well, our little girl was finally old enough to experience this bank-account draining experience (I kid. . . but it does cost a pretty penny).
Once she finally became aware of the fact that we were in Disney World, my daughter’s mind quickly went to asking about whether or not she would be able to go to the BBB. Although we had managed to get our reservation several weeks prior (thanks to some repeated callings to the reservations department), my wife kept telling her that it just wasn’t going to happen. So, the morning of the third day, as we arrived at Downtown Disney for my daughter’s appointment, she was literally beaming from ear to ear as she recognized what awaited her. It was pretty darn priceless.
Now, I didn’t get to experience the transformation. I took my son for some male bonding time in Epcot, riding some of my childhood favorites while the girls had their date, but when the two had reappeared from under a literal cloud of “pixie dust” (the glitter still hasn’t managed to get washed out of my daughters hair. . . or everywhere else for that matter), there was a drastic change in my daughter’s attitude as well. I mean, this kid’s normally a pretty awesome kid, was already incredibly grateful to be at the happiest place on earth (yes, that’s DisneyLAND’s tagline, so sue me), but throughout the rest of the day she couldn’t stop hugging her mother and saying thank you repeatedly. She was the most contented little girl ever, realizing that she had most of her souvenir money spent on the experience of a lifetime.
She was a princess.
The way she beamed with excitement as cast members and guests alike gave her all sorts of special attention was worth the money spent alone. My wife told me a story of how, as they were getting on the bus to make it to our rendezvous, they came across a large group of people awaiting to get on a different bus. My daughter made a comment about how they would need to walk around the group, to which a lady in the line responded, “Princesses don’t walk around, princesses walk through,” followed by the entire group of people immediately making way for this new princess. She talked about that moment for the rest of the week. . .
All of this got me thinking about the concept of a princess. Generally when one envisions the word princess, it comes with images of spoiled brats, kids who are under the impression that everything is owed to them. . . in short, we often think of Cinderella’s step-sisters, as so many kids today feel so incredibly entitled to everything. My daughter, I’m proud to say, embodied the spirit of Cinderella that day (and most days for that matter). Although Cinderella is quite simply the most boring of the princesses, my daughter showed grace, compassion, and more than all, gratitude for something she was well aware was an incredibly special situation.
Just one more example of how my kids are awesome. . . and that I feel okay spoiling them as often as I do, since they haven’t quite gotten to the brat status yet. . .
Also, since this is a daughter-heavy article, one side note, this was also the same day my son finally became aware of Figment the dragon of your imagination. I’m happy to say that his love for that purple guy was right up there with my own love of him from my own childhood. Something about being a father and being able to infect your children with the things you love is constantly rewarding. My children are quickly becoming some awesome little minions.
Have a good one.