Thursday, September 24, 2009


Journal for Christa—

Life is, in some ways, like a five-day stay at Disney World with two preschoolers. It isn’t perfect—that’s Heaven—but there are magical moments along the way. I heard a lot of toddlers crying this week. One little girl was so beside herself, screeching, “I want my candy!” that I actually walked over to get a visual. (It’s the teacher in me, but my kids would say that I’m just nosey.) She was not alone; her dad was standing some distance away. He did not make eye contact. And I’m sure, for him, “magical” was far, far away.

Helen is afraid of the dark; Breck detests loud noises. Many of the rides were quite unmagical, and the fireworks…well, let’s just say it wasn’t like in the movies. But there were lots of magical moments: the kids’ reaction when they first opened the adjoining door between our rooms and found us behind it. Or seeing every Disney worker smile down at Helen in her princess gown and say, “Hello, Princess.” (They train them so well at Disney.)  

Helen saw that all her Disney princesses are really real, and Breck had a very serious chat with Prince Caspian while I snapped pictures. Lunch with Jay at the Grand Floridian felt miles away from Main Street, and the parades generated all the excitement that parades were created for in the first place. Disney was fun. But what made it fun wasn’t where we were but with whom we were.

Life can get nasty at times. That’s just the way it is here. I suppose we should expect it, and it may be one reason why hordes of folks flood Disney every year searching for the magic. But it seems to me that it’s during the “nasties” that we must hunt down those magical moments and be grateful for them. We may feel like most of life is lived in Plan B, but B is better than D or E, and we’ve all had those days.

Since we’ve been back, there have been many moments I wished we were back at Disney with Joel and Kim and the kids, but we aren’t. There are papers to grade and a house to clean, French to learn and meetings to attend. But the roses are gorgeous, I have great friends, and Jay and I are on the same page. And that is magic.

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