I get it now. 

Ever since Moana became our bedtime movie of choice (Frozen’s run finally came to an end), Evelyn has been, well, intrigued by water. She calls it ah-der until she is corrected. She gets super excited when we visit our backyard stream and LOVES playing in the water room at our local kids’ museum. Puddles? Forget it. If there is even hint of water on the ground outside I will dress her accordingly. At the garden store today she was splashing in the bird baths andwetvip to her elbows. And yes, it was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

After nap one day last week I packed the kids in the car and started heading south. I picked up my husband and we drove down to the beach. I psyched her up a big by talking about the ocean and the big water. And we were not disappointed by her reaction to the water and the waves coming up over her feet. She was in love. Even her sisters thoroughly enjoyed the sand and the small pools of water. Of course, we didn’t plan accordingly and had to put sandy naked babies back in the car (covered in blankets) for the ride home. The drive there and back was longer than the time we actually spent there but it was so much fun to share that moment with Evelyn.

Another thing that she just loves is balloons. Her auntie brought over a couple on her birthday a couple of months ago and every time she sees one she screams ood! She even shouts ood at the Cat & Jack display at Target (it has a cardboard hot air balloon). So when I saw on Facebook that a friend of mine had shared a info on a hot air balloon festival one state over my first thought was I really hope we can go. Evelyn would be so excited to see all of those balloons. Forget the fact that money is really tight as the school year comes to a close. 

After I share this thought with my husband I came to a sudden realization. And it was literally just like in the movies. A damn lightbulb went off in my head. And here’s why.

We LOVE Disney. It’s where we spent our pre-wedding honeymoon. And my husband and I had always agreed that taking young children to Disney World was a waste of money and more headaches that it was worth. They wouldn’t remember it, you can’t go out at night, forget drinking around the world, and you would need a second mortgage to go. We had even gone so far as to agree to wait until the youngest was at least 8-10.

And here is where I take a step back, completely shamefaced and apologetic for all those families I judged. Because I didn’t know. 

I didn’t know that one of the most wonderful and amazing things as a parent is simply being a part of the happiness that your child experiences. Just the thought of the look on her face as she sees Mickey in person, looks down Main Street at Cinderella’s castle, or splashes through the pools at Blizzard Beach makes me want to throw all our savings into a Disney vacation. 

Because, let’s be honest here. Those moments of pure happiness on my child’s face will always make my day a little easier, will make my stress a little lighter and will make me remember what’s important in my life. Sure, she can be a pain in my ass. But I would give anything to see her smile.


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