My parents and my sister’s family went to Disney World back in 2010. It was February, and my son was a baby and I had just started telecommuting full time for a local company, so I couldn’t go. Was I bummed? Yep. My mom called me the day she saw Cinderella’s Castle for the first time, and I almost burst into tears. I wanted to see that with my mom. I always had. Now she had seen it without me, but I was happy for her. They had a wonderful time.
Fast-forward 3 months – my mother got sick. She had been diagnosed with a terminal disease, and kept getting worse. It was very sudden. She retired from nursing for almost 40 years, her health was failing, and I had never seen the castle with my mother. I was never going to get to see it. It was a very sad time. I wasn’t much of a prayer, but while this was happening I made up for it in spades. “I just want to see that castle with my mother.” I would pray.
“I just want to see a smile on her face again. I want my mommy back.”
A year and a half later, we found out that my mother had been being treated for something she didn’t have. Miraculously, her disease waned, and she found out that the treatments were actually making her sicker than she really was. They lowered her doses, took her off some meds and onto some other ones – and within 6 months, my mother looked hopeful again, could laugh again, could argue with me again. I had Maddie 6 months later, and while she was holding my little girl, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude to whoever or whatever helped her. When I had told her I was pregnant, she thought she wouldn’t be able to see this moment, and to tell you the truth neither did I. But two miracles were happening at once that day, and I was very grateful.
When my mother started to live again, she began talking about that trip to Disney. Before her life changed. Though she is still not feeling 100%, she had decided after the second diagnosis that she wasn’t going to wait around to die any more. That she was going to live her life and enjoy her family and be happier. This included a second trip to Disney. A second glimpse at that castle. And you can bet your life that I wasn’t missing it again.
My children are small. Though Logan is 3.5, he is mentally only 18 months and Maddie is 15 months old. The crowds would be too much for him, I thought, and Maddie – well, she would hate to be stuck in a stroller all day. I didn’t want to miss it. But I also didn’t want it to be too stressful on my children…then my family and my husband suggested that perhaps it was time to take a mommy only trip. They would be getting older soon, and every trip thereafter would be a family affair. Take this time just for you. Scope it out for Logan so you can prepare him for his first trip to Disney. Take this trip you have always wanted to take, and relax.
I immediately thought of the constant knot in my stomach from the past 5 years. Relax? What does that feel like? Could the babies really live a whole 8 days with just their dad? I guess it was time to find out.