Sunday, July 9, 2017

Should he roar or quack?? What a hard decision!

My little family has been scattered this summer from the jungles of Mexico to the mountains of North Carolina and several spots in between. But this week we are reuniting in our happy place -- Walt Disney World!! I might be feeling nostalgic, mixed in with all the happy!!

An Ewok hat -- or so cute!!
My Indiana Jones-loving family thinks this is very clever!!

Yesterday five of us arrived and made our traditional first stop at Downtown Disney -- or Disney Springs -- as it is called today! As we meandered taking in all the old sites and enjoying some of the new shopping experiences, it was just like every other time we have been: we found unique Disney merchandise that we made a mental note to return to purchase. I couldn't help but be transported back to when we brought our then just-turned-five-year-olds there.

Five-year-old Mason, Benjamin, and Claire with Hercules!

We had decided having them pick a souvenir on the FIRST day would alleviate all the obsession with souvenirs for the remaining days of the trip. We strolled into World of Disney and they were immediately enamored with the wall of stuffed animals. Benjamin grabbed a Mickey Mouse within minutes. He knew this was the souvenir he couldn't live without. That Mickey is still in his room.

Claire grabbed a Dumbo and hugged him tight. She was absolutely certain this was the toy for her. Today, that Dumbo sits front and center in a case that holds several she has collected over the years. We love that "special needs" elephant!

But Mason, oh Mason. He picked up Simba and then put him down and picked up Donald Duck. Oh, how he loved them both. He put down Donald, and picked up Simba again. He went through the reasons he loved each. He went back and forth for no less than half an hour, until we finally strongly encouraged him to make a choice. Simba, he said. And so we proceeded to the check-out with Mickey, Dumbo, and Simba. Great purchases, we thought. Wade and I might even have been patting ourselves on the back for this brilliant solution to the souvenir obsession unique to preschoolers.

We had no sooner left the store -- I mean we weren't even fully back to the main side-walk for Downtown Disney -- when Mason began to cry, "I made a mistake! I should have bought Donald. I really wanted Donald!!" And the tears began to flow.

I picked him up from his stroller and asked him why he thought that. He could barely catch his breath. "I. want. Donald."

Back into the store we went. I explained to the cast member what had happened. They were so gracious to let him go get the Donald Duck and swap Simba for it.

To his credit, Mason has never wavered from his devotion to this stuffed Donald Duck. The toy accompanied him to multiple vacations, several surgeries, and more nights than can be counted. His tail feathers are far from white. He wears a hospital band. And has a bandaged incision on his spine. He was loved well. Today, that Donald resides in a glass case of honor in Mason's room.

My young adults know that all decisions aren't as easy to undo as the day we accidentally purchased the king of the jungle when we really wanted the duck with the cute sailor hat. They have witnessed their dad and I make life-changing family decisions for all their years. They had to make all manner of decisions this summer on their own. 

And yet, I think their take-away from the day we purchased their "guys" is that if we are ever in a place to offer grace -- grace is definitely the choice we should make!

We can't wait to get our whole crew here -- and that includes Len, Stephanie and Olivia for part of our trip!! I'm sure I'll have a few more walks down memory lane....but we'll also be busily making brand new memories and yes, hugging some certain 20-year-olds as tight as I can!

Carol - The Blessings Counter