What an amazing few days it has been. The kids had a brilliant time - and I'm truly hoping that we made some fantastic new memories that will last the three of us a lifetime.
So.... how *did* we get there?
In the first place, I had absolutely no business taking any kind of trip when we are relying on family to house us at this time.... plus, I truly don't know how the h@ll I'm going to support us - so, a trip to Disneyland was surely a luxury we could not (and should not) afford.
First, we had the magnet sales... awesome! I couldn't believe how many people bought magnets. Sure, I know some people might have bought them as a joke, or just because they liked them, but - no matter what the reason, I used that money for the kids and the trip. :) Hopefully, using the money from the magnets was the least 'bitter' thing I could do with it. lololol
Second.... I have some wonderful friends and family. Namely.... I have a Noni. She was The Bubbie's best friend since grade school and was my Godmother.... after I had kids we upgraded her title to Noni. Noni is a HUGE Disney freak- like me... and she sent up one of our tickets and LUNCH at The Blue Bayou.
Growing up, we visited my Grandparents almost every summer and that we would always spend one day at Disneyland. Year after year I would float past the majestic New Orleans style porch with the hanging lanterns and watch the people dining. I always wondering why those people were so *special* that they got to eat inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride while I.... never did.
The answer, I would find out thirty years later is: having a Noni who buys you lunch there. hahahaha
It was a DREAM. COME. TRUE.
The kids and I sat watching the boats trail by full of people off to see Black Beard and Captain Jack Sparrow, while we ate one of the nicest lunches I've ever had. I had the Monte Cristo sandwich and the kids had the mac and cheese.... worth *Every* penny. Honestly, if you have the chance - don't let it pass you by! Of course, the bonus for The Girl is that after The Frog Princess - the whole 'New Orleans' thing wasn't lost on her at all and she was totally mesmerized.
That brings us to .... Lashla.
Lashla is *my* very bestest friend in the world. I've known her for .... over 16 years. WOW. 16 *years*. The very idea of that makes me feel so totally old.... but that's what it is. Lashla is the yin to my yang.... she's always been rainbows and true love and fairies and such..... I've always been moderate temperatures, sensible caution (with a hint of critical doubt) and fairies don't exist. lolol
Sometimes, when she's a wee girl with her head in the clouds - I'm there to ground her with some sage and earthly advice. Other times... and probably more often - it's Lashla who drags me kicking and screaming into taking chances on dreams and people and..... on life - when the critical and more cynical side of me begs to be a realist and doubt things.
I'm a big doubter.... recent events in my life aren't helping that.
But Lashla, knowing me better than I know myself - and loving my children with a kind and generous heart.... sent me a sizable gift that game with Mickey faces on them..... so that our trip would be cemented and we would go. Lashla knew that the sensible side of me would stall and probably not go at all ..... so she made certain that we had no choice.
*THAT* is a true friend.... that, is *true* love.
We also had a few local friends who kindly overpaid for their family photo sessions.... whom I won't mention by name, but they know who they are.... and I am so incredibly grateful.
Then there's Tante Louise, who sent gift cards for the kids so they would have spending money when we got there... it was Tante Louise, Lashla, Noni, Jenny-Jen-Jen and a few other friends whose various gifts I pulled together to do the Bibbity Bobbety Boo salon for The Girl - who LOVED IT. She felt like a *true* princess and she smiles the entire time they fussed with her hair and did her 'make-up' and stuff.
It was *pure* magic.
For me, it was doubly magic because while I was thrilled to the gills to watch the children smile and shriek over Mickey's Halloween Party (which was the big special treat for The Boy) and the salon day and The Blue Bayou and Ariel's Grotto - it was humbling and especially wonderful to know that these moments - this event - was brought to us by people who have hearts of kindness and compassion and wanted to do something nice for us.
How crazy/great/awesome/amazing... *is* that? As Wayne and Garth would say: We're not Worthy!
Mostly though.... I thought about the love of my friends and family - like Lasha.... and how, even though the 'love of my life' turned out to be the 'love of a mere decade'.... my life, and my heart, remain full of *true* love.
And that, and the realization of that, is a far better blessing than any vacation... even though this was one pretty freakin' perfect!!!!