One on One (+1)
There is almost nothing better in my Disney world than one on one trips with my kids. In my real world, the attention I can pay to any given child is split. I am nursing a baby, running a house, homeschooling two elementary age kids, wiping a toddler’s nose (and face, and butt cheeks. How does he get so dang dirty anyway?) A million times a day, I wish I could give someone my complete undivided attention, but I can’t. I have to clip coupons, make shopping lists. There is laundry that will not fold itself. Milk spilled on the kitchen floor. The cat somehow got in…
I’m not complaining though it may sound like it. If I wasn’t happy with my life, I’m the type of person to change it. I adore my life and am so grateful to be home with my kids. I worked so hard while the first three were little, so this is excellent. Though I do wish I could pay more attention to each member of my family.
It’s a complete luxury to be able to pay attention to just one of them. I can think about what a seven year old boy will enjoy. We can skip the pink princess-y things and do just what he wants. Cyrus is along for the ride, but he doesn’t complain much.
I’m writing this from the pool deck at Old Key West. Seth is swimming nearby (Side note- when did he get old enough that he can swim and I’m not even worried about him?) This is what he wanted to do after Hollywood Studios closed. We had a great day today. We started at Animal Kingdom. He wanted to do the Wilderness Explorer program, so we focused on that. We went out to Rafiki’s because there were 6 badges out there that he wanted to complete. Took our time. We found 20 plastic bugs in the leaves. He wanted to wait to see Chip and Dale and even though we’ll see them at lunch tomorrow, I said ok. We worked on the Explorer badges together and talked about the turtle that ate balloons and got sick. Met Rafiki.
When it was time for an Animal Encounter, we hung out by that Armadillo named Karen the entire time she was out. Seth had a thousand questions for the handler. We could never have done that had we not been on a one on one trip. A two year old will not watch an armadillo for thirty minutes. I had no idea that he was so interested in armadillos. I asked him about it. He said, “Well, I saw them on cartoons, and I assumed a lot of what I saw on cartoons wasn’t real so I wanted to see what the deal was.” I am proud of who he is becoming. I have done some things in my life to be proud of, but he is by far the best.
After Animal Kingdom we went to Hollywood Studios. I had a surprise for him- I had upgraded to the Table Service Plan so that we could do a few cool dinners. Minnie’s Holiday Dine was a success and probably deserves it’s own post. We did a few other rides, and met Olaf. He wanted to meet Olaf on our last trip, but time was short and the group decided to do Indiana Jones instead.
I surprised Seth with a small R2D2 plush and later with a $3 light up toy from Target. He was so excited. Honestly, it surprised me how excited he still is about these little things. How many more years do I have before he’s surly and unimpressed? He said thank you several times and played with his new things all evening. Do you realize how humbling it is to realize that God has chosen you to raise a person who is better than you? I have a feeling I’m about to realize it four times in a row. I guess that’s what happens when you marry a man who is better than you.
One on one trips have allowed me to see my children in a way that I otherwise could not. I spent 4 days with Seth in 2014, 5 in 2015 (albeit with a friend along), 5 in January (among them one of the scariest nights of my life which is a story for another day) and now 5 in December. I can see him physically growing of course. He could not ride Expedition Everest in 2014. He could not ride Rock’n’roller coaster in 2015. Now he’s over 48 inches tall and can ride everything.
But I’m also watching him turn into a man along the way. Now he takes care of me at least as much as I’m taking care of him. He is a second daddy to Cyrus. The hints of who he will be as an adult are apparent now. When you zoom out and look at him from the lens of 4 one on one trips over the course of two years, you can see the growth. You can also see where you should spend your time. God has charged me with playing a part in who he is becoming and Disney World trips are absolutely a help in this work.
We’re off to Epcot in the morning (ahem, afternoon, if the baby let’s me sleep.) Garden Grill and the Candlelight Processional. I’m eager to see how he enjoys the day. The Candlelight Processional is a grown up activity. Part of me hopes he will be bored and play with his guys. But a bigger part hopes that he will love it as much as I do. His little boyhood is slipping away. I’m as ok with it as any mom can be because I see a wonderful man emerging.
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