Halfway through a day at Disney World, I’d like to confess that I am a big, dopey dad. Like my father before me, I have multiple pockets bulging with tickets, receipts, documents, maps, cash, and trash. I’m also carrying both a camera bag and a large backpack filled with diapers, wipes, clothes, as well as more tickets, receipts, documents, maps, cash, and trash. Plus snacks and juice. I’m here today because it’s free for my daughter, since it’s her birthday. I’ve been sweating profusely, and grinning broadly. I’m happily paying way too much for food, but drinking water from the tap to save money. I’m hoisting a 40-pound girl in 95-degree heat so that she can see a completely canned stage show better. I’m pushing a stroller slowly, and scheming ways to alternate indoor (read, air-conditioned) and outdoor activities. I froze a (refilled) bottle of water last night, then forgot to bring it along today. I’m doing constant cost/benefit analyses vis-a-vis the length of lines vs. the potential payoff. I’m eating McDonald’s food at lunch, because I like to imagine that I’m ‘sticking it to the man’. I’m unabashedly, enthusiastically introducing my daughter to multiple Princesses and other crassly commercial characters, then sprinting through the gift shop afterward. I’m paying $12 to park the car, but rationalizing it by parking it twice (since we’re allowed to use the pass all day). I’m circling items on a map with a pen which I carry in my pocket, then checking them off.
All of my pretense, and all of my hopes at appearing urbane, metro, and hipster are cast aside today in favor of the sheer pleasure of seeing the pleasure in the eyes of my kids. They are happy, and I am happy.
Posted in: stake in the sand