Available Now
MetroKids
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Edit Module
Jun 13, 2014
06:00 AM
MomSpeak

Disney Without Me?

Disney Without Me?

Melissa with Pooh at age 5 and 15

The Disney vacation — it's the grail of childhood vacations, the happy place that draws families back year after year. (We totally get it; we're Disney families here, too!) But what happens to mom and dad when the kids grow and age out of "family vacation" range? MomSpeaker Lisa Weinstein ponders the thought here.

Three months prior to the two-hour flight that would transport my family from the dreary cold of a New Jersey winter to the sunny skies of Florida, my husband Bob spent an entire morning on hold — his cell phone in one ear and our home phone in the other — waiting patiently for someone to pick up at least one of the two calls he had placed.

His goal? To make a reservation for "Breakfast with the Princesses," the planned highlight of my 4-year-old daughter Melissa's first trip to the Walt "Happiest Place on Earth" Disney World.

His efforts were worth the wait. The much anticipated breakfast inside Cinderella's Castle lived up to its reputation. My starstruck daughter gazed in awe as Belle, Mary Poppins, Cinderella and Ariel treated her like a princess in her own right, showering her with hugs and kisses.

We have been back to Disney countless times since that first trip in February 2002. The heartwarming memories of each visit meticulously preserved thanks to pages and pages of dusty old photo albums.

Last week, while looking for a nonstrenuous activity to pass the time during recovery from major surgery, something drew me to those memories. I gazed at the photo albums as if visiting an old friend, each picture taking me to a place where princesses came to life and a little girl's imagination kept reality at bay.

With every photo, my daughter grew a wee bit taller, her features giving way from the baby-faced cherub who marveled at meeting princesses to a beautiful young lady who, despite the chance of ruining her teen reputation, still chose to pose with Mary Poppins.

Today, at 16, even though the allure of the "celebrity" princesses is no longer a draw for Melissa, she still loves all things Disney. Sure, we've traveled to other vacation destinations. Canada's Niagara Falls, Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains and the beloved beaches of our own Jersey shore, a mere hour's drive, door to door. Yet no other location pulls us back like the promise of "The Happiest Place on Earth." For it is in this place that I have watched my daughter, in spite of her evolution from toddler to teen, shed her inhibitions and embrace the magic.

It is here that she'll choose to hold her daddy's hand in favor of the iPhone texts that connect her to the world beyond our vacation. It is here, miles from her peers, that I become her "default" best friend. It is here that I relish our time together as a family, putting aside thoughts of years to come, when Melissa might no longer choose to do Disney with mom and dad.

But I still had time, didn't I? Days and months and years of time, before that day would arrive.

Or did I?

She has been saving for her next trip to "The Happiest Place on Earth." But this time it will be her classmates, not mom and dad, who will share the magic as they take Disney by storm during their senior class trip in two years' time.

Will there be the chance for one last visit as a family, one last opportunity to capture the magic with mom and dad before my daughter relinquishes the comfort of her poster-filled bedroom in favor of a college dorm?

Before she begins her journey toward independence?

Before she leaves her childhood behind?

Before I am forced to say good-bye?

Lisa Weinstein is a South Jersey mom who blogs about parenting a teen, coping with middle age and celebrating nearly two decades of marriage. This post was adapted from her blog, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Chris Bernholdt, DadNCharge
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Stephanie Glover, A Grande Life
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Kathryn M. Martin, Mamacado
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Lindsey Schuster, Sisters to Sons
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area parenting blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Educational Fun at Linvilla Orchard's Fore! The Planet Miniature Golf

Educational Fun at Linvilla Orchard's Fore! The Planet Miniature Golf

Learn about the environment while you play minigolf at Linvilla Orchard's indoor course.

Comments

Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Learn surprising facts about tarantulas at the Academy of Natural Science's newest special exhibit.

Comments

2016 Book & Media Award Winners Showcase Diversity

Find out which books won the prestigious 2016 Newbery and Caldecott Medals and other prizes for children's lit.

Comments

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! Comes to the Merriam Theater

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! Comes to the Merriam Theater

The beloved star of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood comes to the Merriam Theater in a live, interactive performance Jan. 15-16, 2016.

Comments

2015 Horn Book Fanfare List

2015 Horn Book Fanfare List

Check out the best children's books of 2015 as determined by The Horn Book Magazine.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Mixed Fruit Challah Bread Recipe for Kids

Mixed Fruit Challah Bread Recipe for Kids

Your kids can bake their own challah with this egg-free recipe.

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Why Our Family Celebrates Chinese New Year

Why Our Family Celebrates Chinese New Year

Mom blogger Kelly Raudenbush's family finds festive ways to celebrate her adoptive daughter's birth culture during Chinese New Year.

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Boys, Come Date My Daughters

Boys, Come Date My Daughters

This dad blogger isn't afraid of his daughters growing up and starting to date because he's preparing them to be empowered, independent women.

Comments

{/if}