Technically, I’m breaking the rules with this post. Estelle and I are discussing our favorite trips to Disney, but this trip wasn’t a trip at all. It was while I was working at Star Tours. It was however, a trip for my folks. They decided to come down and spend a long weekend with me so that they could finally see where I was working. They also had no idea just how homesick I was. I refused to let them worry about me because then I knew the phone calls would NEVER stop. I was old enough to take care of myself and I didn’t want to give my mother the satisfaction of knowing that I was miserable without her. And I DEFINITELY didn’t want her to know about the infamous cooking incident that set off the smoke alarm and left me locked out of my apartment with no pants on waiting for security…
But when I saw her in the lobby of the DoubleTree, I felt like I was five again and I just wanted her to hug me for a long time.
So they did what I’m sure all parents do when they visit their child whose living on their own — they fed me. Sitting at The Sizzler, I rambled on and on about my job, all the wonderful friends I was making, the magical moments I was creating, the parks, and almost anything positive I could think of. My mother had just taken a trip to Venezuela a couple of weeks before to visit my grandmother so I was sure she’d have her own set of fun stories to tell. Unfortunately, our dinner took a slight turn for the worst when she explained the trip was because my grandmother had passed away. I then realized just how hard it must have been for my mom to keep that to herself for so long. She told me that she wanted to wait to tell me in person. She thought hearing news like that while I was all alone with no family nearby would hit me hard. I realized that every time I faked being happy on the phone, my mother was doing the exact same thing. I don’t say it enough, but my mother is pretty incredible.
So now she was at the happiest place on Earth and I wanted to make sure she had a good time. She was even nice enough to pay to fly Peter down for the weekend as well and I was grateful to see my stepfather pretend to look the other way when he saw Peter carry my suitcase into his room. (Even my liberal parents have their limits). It was the end of September so the Halloween decorations were up and the crowds were down. We wandered around Fantasyland and I got to see the utter delight on my mother’s face as she sang, “It’s a small world after all.” She hummed along with the music on Cinderella’s Carousel and was just as amazed as I was during Wishes. My mother loves Beauty and the Beast as much as I do, so I was glad to have an excuse to see the show at MGM Studios (she sang along with me too!)
I could see she needed this vacation and I was happy because I hadn’t been to Disney with her since I was 12. Back then, neither of us knew where we were going. We consulted maps, got show times confused and even misplaced our car. This time around, I told her to relax. We parked in the cast member parking lots. I knew the showtimes for everything in MGM and even snagged some fast passes from coworkers. I got to show her around in ways I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise and I was proud of that. Having a little piece of home made me happier down there than I’d been in weeks and I could see she was enjoying herself. Later, my stepfather said she was genuinely smiling and he hadn’t seen that in awhile.
I’ve been to Disney many times since then with friends and boyfriends and I find it funny because I’ve always looked at Disney in such a romantic way. I’ve had moments with significant others down there that have stayed with me for a long time, but when I really think about it, my favorite trip was just being there with my parents, sitting next to my mom in Small World and knowing we were exactly what the other needed. I don’t have fuzzy lovely moments with my mom very often. Leave it to the Mouse to show you what’s really important.