We’ve done a lot of Disney vacations in our family. It’s a tradition I’ve had since I was a little girl. And when I was pregnant with Jack one of my first thoughts was, “when can I take him to Disney”? We waited until he was just about 2 and honestly it was perfect, and we’ve gone back twice every year since. And on each trip there is always a moment that is magical. A moment that just feels like Disney, where Jack smiles bigger and brighter and I find myself wanting to freeze the moment. And this trip was no different, though it was a different trip for us.
This was our last trip as a family of three. Next time we visit Disney we will be a family of four and we have yet to plan that trip because I’m just not ready to think about traveling with a baby…yet. And as my Dad happened to mention to Jack early in the vacation, the plan is not to go back for two years. And with those words it seemed that to Jackson time became of the essence. Every ride became “must do” because we weren’t coming back for awhile.
And I hadn’t really thought about the trip that way. But once Jack started saying it, I found myself thinking it too. Would this be our last trip where the characters were “real” to him? Would this be the last trip he would shout with excitement at watching Mickey open the park? Would it be the last time he would want to spend more time finding his favorite characters, than riding the rides? In two years will he have moved on from Mickey, Donald and riding Small World with his Mama?
I wasn’t sure, and I don’t know what the next year will bring but I wanted to take every moment in. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed them all just in case in a few years he’s “too old” for these things. This window of him being little seems to be growing smaller and smaller at a rapid pace. And maybe I sound like an old person but, kids grow up so fast (too fast) these days, and I want these moments when he’s little to last as long as possible.
So we did it all, riding Buzz Lightyear over and over again and flying with Dumbo, dining with Mickey and getting Goofy’s autograph at least 3 times. We made the most of this last trip as a family of three.
By the end of the week I started feeling exhausted at trying to keep up with the pace of our days. And at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I found myself sitting on the cold ground waiting for a show to start, feeling tired and sore and struggling to keep smiling with my Minnie Christmas ears on. And as I watched Buzz Light Year and Stitch sing Christmas songs, and Jack’s face light up with joy, none of the exhaustion or aches and pains mattered, because his joy in these moments on this last trip was magical.
And this trip will always be remembered as the last one as a family of three but also as the one that we announced that we will be having a little girl. And I know that when we go back, as a family of four, that trip will be just as memorable.