Picture Perfect vs Reality

 

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I love family day! Trying to find the time to spend together with everyone’s different schedules is somewhat near impossible at times. All we have time for some days is a quick 10 minute family dinner in between homework, practice, work, etc, etc. However, when we can all get together as a family for some fun time, day trips are my favorite! My fondest memories as a child were day trips with my family. Rocky Point, a Rhode Island staple, was probably the most amazing thing since slice bread! Boston day trips were also beyond fun…I mean so much to do in the historic New England city and finish that off with a bite to eat…what is better than that?

Now that I have my own family, I want my kids to look back at their childhood and also be filled with love and happiness…but why doesn’t it work out that way? I remember our first trip to Disney. PICTURE PERFECT: My husband and I had never been as children so we took our oldest son when he was about 3. To think, we were in Disneyland…the most magical place on earth! All I could imagine was our little man beaming with happiness, the hugs and kisses, the screams and thrills as we ride the best rides on earth, and the hats with those awesome mouse ears. How special for all of us to experience Disney for the first time together. REALITY: Once we FINALLY got into the theme park (long ride in from the parking lot, getting all hot and sweating waiting to get on the monorail, the bag check at the main gate and waiting at the stroller rental place) our little guy was a little tired. But that was ok because we had all day to enjoy…well, he was a little overwhelmed but we kept on truckin’. We finally arrived at the castle….I was in awe! Little guy was walking on by wondering where the heck we were. Finally we were in line for our first ride…my husband and I were beaming…and we waited….and waited….and waited…and about 45 minutes later we were riding the cars!! I mean it was so much fun…2 minutes later it was over, little man was crying because he didn’t want to get off.  Here we were, the only family in the WORLD trying to calm down a toddler screaming at the top of his lungs. My husband was ready to call it a day but by some grace of God the crying stopped, we bought some snacks and nap time came next. Fast forward through the rest of the day to the part of trying to actually LEAVE Disney… First I have to say, I didn’t know the park blew up every night…I mean the happiest place on earth just turned into a race to the finish line! As we stand in line, once again waiting to get on the car to take us to our car in the parking lot, I am being called all types of names and getting numerous disapproving stares as my 3 year old is licking down a 2 foot tall lollipop! I mean what good mother allows her child to have that much sugar at this hour of the night…THIS ONE! The kid was dripping colored sugar all over the place and as he tilted the pop to get a good lick, every once in a while he would lightly tap someone standing near us leaving a nice stain of Disney on their clothes. After all, Disney is all about dreams coming true right?? What 3 year old wouldn’t LOVE to be sucking on a sugar stick hours passed their bed time? As the disapproving stares were coming toward me I held my head high thinking #1 Mom right here.

Don’t get me wrong, the whole day wasn’t a bust, there were many fun rides, the parade was magical and I have amazing pictures to last a lifetime, but how frustrating when we see the advertisements of EVERYONE having the time of their life. Why can’t MY family be identical to the thousands of people in the commercial laughing and having the time of their life?! I mean in movies, moms look absolutely gorgeous in the delivery room after giving birth. Why did I have puffy eyes under my glasses, my hair in a nest-like bun on the top of my head, rocking a nightgown that would make my grandmother jealous. Ugh… Hollywood is a whole other beast. Let’s touch on the movies that show all these relationship problems, but once the baby is born the couple comes together in the delivery room, promising to be perfect in every way and live happily ever after. I think the movie should start there because we all know that is just the beginning! The birth of a child is amazing but it is rarely done with lipstick and eyeliner on, unless of course you are the beautiful Duchess Kate Middelton.  I mean did everyone see how amazing she looked days after giving birth – jealous girl rant over!

Or what about the dream guy in the movie….ladies fess up – we all have watched these ooey gooey movies and they shot a narrow eyed stare at our husbands thinking, “How hard would it be for him to say something nice!” My husband’s reply to “the stare” is, “If I had someone writing my every word I would say those nice things too.”

Back to my Disney REALITY… if you ask my son about the first time he went to Disney he actually remembers some of it. He remembers sitting on dad’s shoulders watching the parade, he remembers the amazing candy store and he remembers being on the Aladdin magic carpet ride. At the end of the day we had successfully completed a family fun memory for our little guy! Maybe there were tears, maybe some frustration, maybe even a little swear word here or there, but as we retell the story of the loudest screaming child that caused a circle to form around us in the center of “the happiest place on earth” we say it smiling and laughing and there is a warm feeling that fills my heart because that is our family memory. Who said picture perfect has to be magazine worthy? Forget magazine worthy and make it memory worthy!

*as usual, please excuse any typing or grammatical errors, the thoughts flood my brain faster than I can get them on paper and I don’t want to forget my thoughts…mommy brain!