My Convertible Life

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

First Time

Last Wednesday, my husband and I picked up our kids from school at lunchtime and announced that we were taking them to Disney World for the first time. As in, right now, the car is packed, let’s go make dreams come true, we have three days to live the magic.

We expected their reaction would be something like this:

Children’s mouths drop, we beam at them lovingly. Their eyes light up as they shout, “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! THAT’S INCREDIBLE! YOU ARE THE BEST PARENTS EVERRRRR!” And then we all melt into a group hug and sing Disney tunes for nine hours in the car.

Instead, it went more like this:

Children’s faces remain blank. They look skeptical and mutter, “I don’t believe you. Are you serious?” We show them the packed car and the magic bands and promise that we are telling the truth. They complain, “But it’s Wednesday. We don’t want to miss P.E.” And we suggest that perhaps three days in Disney is even better than P.E. And then they both say, “Can I play on the iPad in the car?” Twenty minutes down the road they start asking if we are in Florida yet. The only Disney songs we sing are from the Frozen soundtrack on continuous loop.

Hmph. I don’t know what Mr. P is doing in those phys ed classes, but it must be incredible.

The good news is that they got progressively more excited throughout the nine-or-so-hour drive and were totally wound up by the time we checked into our hotel at 10 p.m. Awesome.
Now that we’ve been back home for a few days, I’ve realized that taking your kids to Disney World for the first time is a lot like having your first newborn.

While you’re in the midst of it, you’re completely overwhelmed by the rapid swings between totally amazing and amazingly hard. But once it’s over, you forget all the crying and the exhaustion and that inexplicable sticky mess on your shirt. All you remember are the sweet, fun, photogenic moments and you decide you must do it again because you’ve learned so much from surviving the first one and you want to see if you can do an even better job the second time around.

At least the next time – if our bodies and our bank account can survive a next time – I’ll be expecting a different reaction when we give them the good news. Maybe it will go something like this:

Wow, Mom! That sounds even better than a whole day of P.E.!


  1. That is such a great surprise! We went for the first time about 3 years ago. My girl was too young, it was crazy cold (we went in December and it was a record cold snap), we did Animal Kingdom and bailed after about 3 hours. It was too much. We need to go again since she's older, but not sure when we will pull the trigger again.

    1. Yes -- I was glad we waited until they were 6 and 8.5. Was amazed at all the families with tiny babies and frustrated toddlers in the parks, but I guess everyone does what works for their family.


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