This post is from my series, 31 Days of Positive Parenting:
On Tuesday, we went to one of my happy places – Disneyland! We live fairly close, and we have Annual Passes – so we try to go as often as we can during the year. With Paprika being homeschooled this year, it makes it so much easier.
We practically had the whole park to ourselves! I think the longest we waited in line for a ride was three minutes. The way it should be! Ha!
I love to go every year for my birthday – it’s great because the crowds are gone, it’s cooler – and well, it’s my birthday. Of course, my birthday was a month ago – but life has been busy with Dancing With The Stars starting back up for Mr. M, our homeschooling, and all of Paprika’s activities (it’s a full-time job keeping that straight).
So, October it was! The great part about going in October is that it’s ALL decorated for Halloween. We go every year at this time, and it never disappoints.
It’s kind of funny because I can track our lives in terms of Disneyland trips. In everyday life, the little milestones don’t seem like they change much from day to day. But, at Disneyland, time feels suspended.
I remember little things like when Paprika was too little to ride the rides. When she wanted me to carry her everywhere, and whole trips when her feet never touched the ground. I remember when I was pregnant with Ginger and I took Paprika to Disneyland EVERY WEEK by myself. What can I say, I was in the throes of grief over the twins and Disneyland was the only place that made me forget my troubles. It’s hard to be sad at Disneyland.
Speaking of…no trip to Disneyland would be complete without a trip to visit our brick. If you are ever at Disneyland, our brick is right by the front entrance near the center as you walk up. It’s smack-dab under the shade of the monorail, which I find oddly comforting. I love saying hi to our little brick every time we visit.
This trip to Disneyland was a little emotional for me – and the reason why seems so silly – but hear me out. This was the first time Paprika wanted to ride the rides all by herself.
It was the first time she’s been old enough to ride the bumper cars by herself (she just turned 7).
It was the first trip she didn’t ride in the stroller. It was the first time she walked beside me the whole day instead of being pushed in the stroller.
She’s slowly turning into a big kid. Or if not a big kid, then a medium-kid. I looked at her and felt like – wooosh – her babyhood all went by so darn fast.
She sat down on a bench outside the bumper cars, and I looked at her and got teary. I snapped a quick picture of her like this:
Because I remembered her, four years ago to the day, at Disneyland – on the same bench. And even wearing the same hairbow! Four years to the day – what are the chances?
Where did the time go?
I had a mini-emotional breakdown right there by the bumper cars. My baby is all grown up! She doesn’t even want to ride the bumper cars with me anymore!
But then we walked 15 feet over to this ride and she begged me to ride with her because she is terrified of heights. I let out a big sigh of relief and said a silent prayer of thanks for small childhood phobias. Ha!
This was also the first trip when Violet was tall enough to ride almost every ride. Wasn’t she born just a second ago?
This whole parenting gig is a small series of letting go over and over again. I feel like I’ll spend the next 20 years watching these girls walk away from me slowly – and all I want to do is wrap them up and kiss them and never let them go!
Clearly, I’m gonna have to let them grow up. It’s just hard trying to hold on to these moments of their childhood that are so sweet and well…I’m gonna say it…magical. These early days of parenting are so exhausting and labor intensive – but Gee Whiz, look at this magic:
It was Violet’s first time watching a parade. I’m so glad I was there to see it:
And the parade even had her besties – Woody and Jessie. What could be better?
Watching Violet watch the parade almost made me forget about the completely traumatic parade experience I had back in 2009, when Paprika was three. Almost.
As we always do, we stayed until the park closed. And Paprika even let me ride one last ride with her as the park shut down. It was perfect – maybe because I know that these days aren’t going to last. It makes me cherish them that much more:
And just so you don’t think I’m totally delusional – by the end of the day, we were bone tired. I might have fallen asleep on the Little Mermaid ride when we rode it for the 7th time in a row. And then I just might have slept right through the 8th pass. I swear, it was magical the first six times in a row we rode it. It was those last two times that did me in.
And I wasn’t the only one who was tired. See?:
But the kids? They stayed awake the whole ride home and begged for Krispy Kreme donuts (which naturally we stopped to get at 9pm). Naturally.
It was MY birthday, after all. Well, it was my birthday a month ago. How long do you think I can stretch this birthday thing out, anyway? I’m thinking another 11 months or so.
To read more posts in this series, find me here.