The plan had been to return to Hawaii last year to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. But I was due to deliver our second child in June. Then we thought, OK, Paris in the spring next year to celebrate TEN years. But we have two weddings to attend in May. And then a third, big, big one that I’m IN in October for one of my absolute best friends — I’m her matron of honor. It was shaping up to be kind of a busy year on the wedding front so we knew we’d have to scrap Paris before we even rang in 2018.
As I was reflecting on all of this earlier tonight and hating myself for how ungrateful I was sounding in my head, lamenting all these wonderful invitations to celebrate with our friends, I started to think about my daughter. I’m finally feeling a little better after weeks of sickness in our house, so we hit the road for the mall earlier today. Exciting, I know, but I had never attempted a solo excursion to a bigger mall with both the girls, but wanted to bring E to The Disney Store, so it was an excursion with a capital “E” if you know what I mean.
Emilia was so well behaved and Caroline, well… second babies. She’s a dream. Sooner than I’d planned, I found myself steering the
rig stroller toward the Disney Store as a reward for all this excellent behavior. Emilia lept from the stroller at my insistence and RAN — hair streaming behind her, little arms pumping, straight to the mouse ears, a girl on a mission. I just wish I’d filmed it. It went something like this as she arrived breathless through the door: WOW MAMA! LOOKIT! FROZEN! ELENA OF AVALOR! ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS!
I was practically dead from the adorableness of it all.
She tore through the store hugging dolls, rolling a suitcase beside her, and even lying on the floor at one point to get a better look at a selection of “figures” as she calls them, of all the Disney princesses. In that moment, I probably fell in love with my little girl a hundred times over, which I’m sure many other parents can relate to. One moment, you’re fit to tear your hair out because they’re throwing a tantrum over one thing or another and the next, the unabashed enthusiasm they show for a set of figurines causes your heart to swell up to the point that you think you might choke with adoration and devotion to this little person who is propped up on her elbows, belly down on the floor, inspecting the wares at the Disney Store.
It was a whopping reminder to me that they’re not going to be this little forever, and while the days are very long and hard a lot of the time, this period of our lives together is so brief in the grand scheme of things. The fact that strangers stop me when I’m out with the girls and say: Gosh, I miss that age so much. Mine are grown! should tell you something.
It also made me realize that the Disney trip I’d been envisioning happening when the girls are older and will appreciate it — something said to me repeatedly as far as kids and travel are concerned — should happen far sooner than even I had realized. The time is now! I never realized how brief the window is for Disney magic through an almost-three year old’s eyes until today. How many Disney trips can we squeeze in before she grows out of this phase? It was a total perspective shift, I’m telling you.
All this to say, as much as I’d love to sneak away for an adults-only vacation soon and check some locales off my “Dream Travel” bucket list, (I’m looking at you, Denmark), what I’m doing right now is pretty great too. It may not be the kind of adventure you see pinned to travel boards on Pinterest or Instagrammed all over a friends’ feed, but it’s messy and beautiful and fun all on it’s own, so maybe it’s best to count my blessings.
And maybe start to think about planning our first family trip — to Disney.