Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back from our Happy Place

We visit Disneyland. As often as possible.

We love it there. A lot.

With one of our favorites -- Woody!

As we wrapped up our trip last week, I became contemplative -- as I usually do -- about what makes it so special and why this dear boy of mine gets a little sad every time we have to leave (a little sad is a big improvement...when he was younger he would pout for days.).

Heading down Main Street -- happy happy to be at his laughing place!

I think there are many parts to the answer:

I think he loves family time. As a toddler he was happiest when the five of us were together in one little hotel room. Though that isn't even possible today (we've added a child and well, the trio are far too big to fit in one bed like they once did as traveling two year olds!), he relishes family time! We all do!

Claire and Mason riding Dumbo -- where we start all great vacations!

It is definitely more than just family time, however. There is the accessibility of course. Disney makes it possible for him to do almost everything. And the higher the drop and the faster the fall, the happier he is! (He can't help it, Mommy and Daddy love the rides, too!)

Uncle Len and Cate on Dumbo!

But it is really more than it just being ACCESSIBLE...Disneyland is a place where the Cerebral Palsy that affects our family is much less "out loud" than in our normal routine.

Out loud -- as in arriving at a Newsboys concert only to discover the audio board has been placed right in front of the boys' accessible seats. As in, they can no longer see a thing.

Out loud -- as in being invited to an event only to discover stairs at the entrance.

Out loud -- as in going to the local zoo and having the fence at just the right height to completely block his view of the animals.

With our absolutely most favorite Mouse ever...Mickey!

Oh, in spite of the Disneyland magic, the Cerebral Palsy doesn't go away. There is lifting, ride transfers, and frankly sorrow-filled moments when we see teenagers rotating the use of a wheelchair to get out of standing in line that breaks our hearts and reminds us of our differences as a family.

Cate saw this sign on the Disneyland Train and was sure it meant that we needed to do....

THIS! I was only too happy to oblige!

But at Disneyland, we focus much more on what we CAN do:

Like laughing hysterically while getting soaking wet on the Grizzly River Rapids!

Like making silly faces while enjoying the Corn Chowder that Mommy tries to duplicate at home as we convince her we love her's more (yea, right!).

Like visiting with Chef Oscar, the remaining original Disneyland cast member who tells the best stories.

Like teasing Dad mercilessly about being Cogsworth after he took the "Which Disney Character Quiz Are You?"

Or teasing Lenny mercilessly about his not wanting to ride Mickey's Fun Wheel! (He does it anyway for his precious Cate!)

And I could keep going...

Mom, Dad and our Benjamin!

Dad and his girls!

Disneyland is just a deep breath for all of us. A time of relaxing, relishing togetherness and realizing we are a pretty cool family, no matter what!

Family photo with our favorite -- Pluto!
And knowing where to find the magic that makes my entire crew smile -- well, that is quite a blessing. Wouldn't you say?!


AlexisIndy said...

Love that last photo, because even though your "actual" Pluto couldn't be there, you still managed to have him in the photo! :) A full family photo!