It seems like you work so hard and it takes so much planning to actually *go* and then you do go and the time goes by quicker than quick and suddenly, you're home again before you know it!
The kids ...... they had such a great time. We had a bit of a snafu at one point, and I was *shocked* at how the Cast Members came together to help out.
The Boy has kind of dodgy eye-sight, which results in him wearing glasses with a bi-focal and he doesn't have super solid 3D vision. That means that he doesn't really like to ride bikes and stuff - which takes 3D vision. He does ride a skateboard - but that takes less 3D interpretation to ride.
Anyhow - in his excitement and vision hassles, he took a big spill early on day two. Cast Members came out of the wood work to see if he was ok and if we needed anything. I think he was just a bit more embarrassed than anything else - but I thought everyone's genuine concern was super nice.
A short time later, the manager at the area where The Boy had fallen came over and asked me which ride was The Boy's favorite ride - which, of course is Roger Rabbit. He LOVES that ride - which is really the best ride in all of ToonTown. She came back, again, a short time later and told us to head over to Roger Rabbit and ask for Pat when we got there.
The kids were all aglow as we walked over - they seemed to think something special as in the works, Kids can be very perceptive that way. So we arrived at Roger Rabbit and Miss Pat was there, she produced three 'Fast Passes' and took us to the Fast Pass line. SWEET!
We rode the ride and the children ran out to thank Miss Pat right away.... but Miss Pat wasn't done yet.
To my great surprise, Miss Pat walked us over to Mickey's House. We went into the back door and down a side hallway. During our walk, I learned that Miss Pat has worked at Disneyland for over 15 years and that she had nearly twenty grandchildren of her own!
She walked into a "Cast Members Only" door and told us to wait in the hall - a few minutes later Miss Pat came out and handed The Girl a teeny-tiny "glass" slipper. It was clear and flawless in it's shape and design and immediately The Girl started squealing about how it was a "CinnerElla" slipper.
Because that how a three year old say's, Cinderella - CinnerElla..... hahaha.
I tried to tell Miss Pat no, that we didn't need anything, but Miss Pat assured me that *everyone* needs a little magic in their lives.
Oh, I'm not sure Miss Pat knew just how right she was.
We then followed Miss Pat - who was now calling herself "Grandma" to the kids, down another long hallway. We got to another Cast door and she slipped in, then slipped back out - opened the door wide and there stood Mickey Mouse. Alone. By himself.
Grandma Pat had brought the children to see Mickey Mouse for a private audience!!!!!!!
We kept it brief, mostly because I was feeling incredibly guilty knowing that there was a line of people who had been waited who knows *how* long to get their picture taken with Mickey - so we took a few photos and headed back out.
The kids were..... elated. I was in total shock.
Grandma Pat then escorted us to the roller coaster in ToonTown - and got us on that ride through the exit - skipping the line, and then to a few other rides. The kids felt like total rock stars.... I was excited for them but totally confused.
The Boy had only taken a wee spill - no major injuries or bleeding to report... just a regular, kid-standard fall. I hadn't flipped out or been angry or made any kind of scene. I'm the kind of Mom who down-plays those moments - having remembered being a kid totally embarrassed by falling down in public and having someone make all kind of noise drawing yet more attention to the initial fall.
So, I couldn't understand *why* anyone would be going out of their way for us - and I expressed that to Grandma Pat.
She was shorter than me - both by natural height and from her age as she now had slightly rounded shoulders - so looked up at me and said, "Sometimes, you just know who needs a bit Magic in their lives.... and I've been delivering that magic for fifteen years. It's the best job in the world....... seeing these two kids smile is just the reason we're all here to begin with."
Wow. On the one hand I'm amazed at the kindness of a stranger and (as always) totally impressed with the dedication of Cast Members at Disneyland... they are just THE BEST.
On the other hand.... I wondered to myself if the entire world can see our gaping and raw emotional wounds that are lacking in happiness and magic.... or if that was just a Super Power that Grandma Pat had.
I agree with Grandma Pat, though - there *needs* to be more magic in our lives. I can't afford to take us back to Disneyland every month to get it either.... *I'm* going to have to be the one who helps create that for them - who helps them find their *own* magic.
I think that - going back to MR. XXXXXX - it's really, really important that instead of giving the children band aids for their pain and their loss - it's my job to teach them how to heal themselves. It my job to teach them how to find and make their own happiness and their own magic.... if I give it to them all the time without teaching them how to do it for themselves - then they will grow up, without confidence and security and strength.
It's a good thing that The Boy and The Girl seem to like roller coasters as much as they do... because sh*t around here is going to be bumpy for a while - but hopefully - I can bring a little more magic to their lives which will make things a bit easier.