My grandfather took my entire family to Disney when I was 7 years old. It was the only time I went as a child. It was the year my parents got a divorce and I guess he wanted to do something special for me and my mom. I can’t tell you how special it all was. I cherished every moment. During a time of confusion and sadness and despair, I found light again. I guess that’s why Disney really means a lot to me. We laughed. We screamed. We tricked my grandparents into going onto Space Mountain and they cried in Maltese the entire time. My mom and I had tears coming down our faces. That’s how hard we were cracking up. It was truly a magical week. Every corner of Walt Disney World was amazing to me. Every. Single. Part of it.
As we were exiting the park, my mom made me rush over to an American Indian Statue that was on Main Street. She told me to go and pose with him – just one more picture before we leave. Even she didn’t want it to end.
And so I did. I ran right over and I grabbed onto the last moments of Disney that I knew I would have as a child. It was a big trip for my family. I knew I wasn’t going to return. So, I held on tight and I looked at that statue – trying to remember every detail.
I can bet my LIFE that out of the millions and millions of people that visit Disney – no one pays this statue any mind. They walk right by it and move onto the castle or the ice cream shop or the new Starbucks shop (HELLO). But not me. The first thing I go for when I enter Disney is HIM. I greet him every single time I walk down Main Street because he represented something very special to me at a very dark time in my childhood.
This last vacation, I made my daughter pose with him because I felt that she should meet him. She’s a little bit older than me at 9 1/2, but I didn’t care. I wanted her to take the picture regardless. And she kept asking me, “WHYYYYYYYYYYY???????”
Why not with the balloons?
Mommy needed this. And so she did. And I think out of the 600 pictures I took last week, this is my favorite one.