Sunday, June 8, 2014
For those of you who know me well you know I do not do "character clothing". In fact I barely do prints or stripes or just about anything else that gets away from my solid colors. But the sweat pants in this picture are indeed mine and I have to say that they will forever hold a special place in my heart because they represent to me what a difference time makes.
You see Dotty and I took our first Disney World trip back in September of 2012. Dotty had just turned 5 and I was so excited about what was to be "The Trip of a Lifetime". I put a lot of pressure on this trip to live up to such a high billing and I put a lot of pressure on Dotty and me as the staring role players of this trip. As you can imagine I also set myself up for complete and utter failure.
Disney World 2012 did have good moments (we still met Disney characters, got to see our sweet and special friend Lena, and our hotel was really nice), but overall I remember the trip as being full of frustration, disappointments, and I am sorry to say a few tears shed by Dotty and even me. In general I thought the trip was a failure and that I was a failure as a mother. I won't go so far as to say I hated the trip but I did not look back on it with many fond memories.
Then in April 2013 Dotty and I took a trip to Disneyland. It was an awesome trip and I attributed much of it to being so great because Disneyland is so much smaller than Disney World and we were aided by some awesome family members (Mitch and April Taylor's family) who live in California and were able to show us all the ins and outs of Disneyland.
So now this year we had a choice to make...where to go for our trip. Dotty wanted to go to Disney World again but I was skeptical. I just thought that we were cursed when it came to Disney World. However, with the help of our fabulous Disney Planner, Robbie Burket, we set off for Disney World...but I will say I had a small pit of dread in my stomach.
My game plan with Robbie was to do a few big things and anything else was just going to be bonus. Well that proved to be the best game plan ever. Except for the fact that Dotty wanted to swim in the hotel pool more than I let her (we can swim anywhere) and the fact that Dotty really wanted to go to the Disney Boutique again to get made up like a princess, we had the best trip ever!!!
The pants pictured above are part of the reason why. Let me explain.
On the first Disney trip I wanted everything to be so perfect I missed out on just enjoying time with Dotty. I foolishly thought our trip would look like the commercials I see on tv when I know in my heart those people are just actors and those situations are staged. Just like the rides at Disney...real life comes with ups and downs and sometimes you get a little wet either from a few shed tears or a trip down Splash Mountain...either way the water dries and life is good again.
Was this last trip to Disney perfect? No. Dotty and I both got hot, tired, hungry, frustrated, disappointed, short with each other, etc. A year from now...or especially 10 or 20 years from now will I remember those things? No. I will remember the smiles, the laughs, the hugs, the kisses, the sheer enjoyment of watching my almost 7 year old daughter believe in the magic of Disney.
And I got to the live the magic that comes from a parent getting to make memories with a child.
Those pants pictured above came about because on the last day we were at Disney we had to check all our luggage before we headed to Magic Kingdom. So all we had left at the hotel were the bags we were going to carry on the plane which were full of snacks and new Disney toys. We had a great final day at Magic Kingdom and as we were waiting for the bus to take us back to the hotel I went to open a Coke that I had bought and it spewed all over me. I was drenched!!!
Now I had put an extra shirt in my carry on bag but that was it. So now I was faced with having to fly on a 2 hour plane ride then drive another 2 hours home with sticky pants.
As I sat there a little stunned and drenched in Coke I looked up to see Dotty paralyzed. She even seemed to be a little afraid. You see she was the one who had been carrying the Coke and no doubt had been swinging and playing with it. I am sure she was prepared to hear my roar (and not in the Katy Perry kind of way).
What I did next showed me what a difference time makes.
I simply shrugged my shoulders, got some wet wipes out of our bag and started wiping myself off, and I told Dotty "Looks like Momma will be buying herself some new pants today.". Dotty said, "You aren't mad?" Me, "No. Accidents happen. No use crying or getting mad over spilled Coke."
So when we got back to the hotel the pants above were the ONLY pants the gift shop had. I learned several good lessons from those pants.
1. Pack extra pants in your carry on too.
2. Life is too short to get mad over spilled Coke.
3. People can change.
You see the first Disney trip I would have yelled and gotten very mad over that Coke. I would have made the situation worse than it needed to be. But I am trying to grow and learn to take life as it comes...spilled Coke and all. I don't always do it well or right...but I keep trying.
I hope someday when Dotty has her children and "Coke gets spilled" (whatever the "spilled Coke" actually is in life because it can come in many shapes and forms) I hope she will remember how I handled "spilled Coke". Maybe not every "spill" was handled well but if most of them are then I have done a pretty good job.
As we boarded the plane I noticed a few odd looks...no doubt people were mentally critiquing my fashion choice. In the past I would have worried what those people thought but that day all I worried about was making sure Dotty enjoyed every last minute of our trip and I enjoyed every last moment with her.
The airline attendant asked if we had fun. YES!!!...was our overwhelming reply. Then she asked if this was our first trip. I said no but it was definitely a much better one. She asked if it was because Dotty was older. I simply said "Maybe but I think it has to do with the fact that I am much wiser."
As we waited for the plane to take off Dotty looked up at me and said "Mommy our first Disney World trip was awesome too. We got to spend it with Lena, I got to get dressed up like Tinker Bell, we saw the fireworks, we did the Toy Story ride and a bunch of other stuff." Then she went back to playing with her toys.
As I sat there tears almost spilled from my eyes (it was a day of all kinds of spills) because I was reminded that even when I feel like a failure my kid sees the good in me and in the things we do together. Does Dotty remember the not so great things about our first Disney trip? Of course she does. (She is still banned from playing with my phone because she deleted a lot of pictures on that trip.) But are the not so great things the ones that mean the most to her? No. They aren't. She remembers how if felt to be treated like a princess. How it felt to meet Minnie and Mickey for the first time. How it felt to see a friend we hadn't seen in a while. She remembered the good stuff way more than she did the not so great stuff.
And just like she does so often Dotty taught me a good life lesson. We all try our best but we are all going to fail. It is what we dwell on that matters. We can choose to remember the good things or the bad ones but they are still our choice to make. Life is all about choices and we have the power to choose!!!!
So as Dotty slept the entire plane ride back to Texas I thought back to Disney World 2012 and I remembered the good times only. And I was amazed at how many there were. So from now on I will choose to remember the lessons but only the lessons...not the bad things that resulted in the lessons.
And I will always pack extra pants!!! But I will also always keep those Minnie pants. And someday when Dotty and I are going through my closet we will come across them...and we will laugh...and we will remember...and I will be so grateful!