It takes a lot of magic to create happiness, and a lot of money and effort to make magic; every good fairy knows that. Pixy dust doesn’t grow on trees (it’s some sort of weird lake underneath one, according to the latest shows). Planning for a visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth made me think of magic, and for some reason that made me think of The Prestige.
So may I introduce our Disney World plans; a grand show unto itself.
Planning for the trip began in January. There was some internal debate about whether to do a Disney cruise, or yet another beach trip, or shingle my house in gold plate (approximately the same cost). Since Jelly is about to turn that special age of four, when a girl’s heart turns to whatever her daycare friends are talking about, she has been asking for The Mouse for what seems like a hundred billion years. So be it. I did my research, I plotted my schedule, I booked the character meal reservations – and I paid. I convinced myself that I’d be able to put it out of my head for 5 months. I lasted almost 2.
It began innocently enough. I thought I might want to do a little research, check out one of the AllEars or DisBoard forums. That led to poking around for some trip odds and ends that were deemed OMG DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THIS. Rain ponchos. Glow sticks. Segways. Then I decided she needed a couple little gifts for while we were there. And maybe a special outfit or two. Before I knew it, I was stockpiling those free stickers I was always getting from the Disney DVD Club and trying to gauge how many non-$12 bottles of water I could get in my checked bag. And as each day dragged slowly by, desperately clawing its way through the end of winter and the early days of spring, I lay in bed and thought… ‘this is how she’ll look when we do this’. ‘This is what she’ll say when she sees that’. I got tired of saying 'We'll see' or 'Maybe' so I told her I was planning a Birthday Adventure, and she wouldn't know what it was until the day of. One of our favorite car games the past few weeks has been making up silly things it could be; a hot air balloon ride, an underwater car, dinner with a king. I'm pretty sure she thinks it's a beach trip. I hope she's not disappointed.
I have gone back and forth on the reveal. There are a billion stories and videos of how parents told their loved ones they were going to The World, some touching, some lame, some tragic (the kids who are burst into tears, unhappy ones, because they really aren’t going to Grandma’s or camping or whatever the double-cross is). For a long time the plan was to take Disney-themed cupcakes into Jenny’s class, and present her with the customized birthday ears. A week ago I discarded this idea – I decided it was stupid to drive her to daycare for just three hours, when they wouldn’t let the kids have the cupcakes until after nap anyhow.
So a few days ago I came up with my new plan. This afternoon I spent $100 on balloons at the party store; #4 balloons, and foil balloons, and Princess and Toy Story and even an awesome Perry balloon. And the BEST ‘floating Mickey’, taller than Jenny. I got Mickey plates and a cup and napkins. Everything is currently in my pantry, and tomorrow morning while she’s watching cartoons, I will make Mickey pancakes and then call her in. The video camera is on the table.
I don’t expect the screaming and jumping up and down and tears like you see from other kids; Jenny is too young and too cool for that noise. I think it will hit later – likely when I’m not able to get away, strapped in an airplane seatbelt – I need to prepare myself now for the non-stop talk that is going to blast me all the way to humid Orlando. Sunny/rainy, Star Wars-weekend-crowded Orlando.
The Transported (Wo)Man
I woke up at 5am this morning and wanted to throw up. I am so freaking excited/nervous/freaked out about the whole thing I basically twitched all day. Thank God I never got married, I would never have been able to stand it.
So after the fancy pancakes and the obligatory ½ lb of bacon, we’ll get on our new shirts and head to the Fast Park and Fly. We’ll get on a plane (hopefully) sometime around 1:30. We’ll land in sweaty Orlando and skip happily to the Magic Express bus. It will whisk us away to the All Star Movies (Toy Story building requested) Resort. And thus will begin the Great Disney Birthday Adventure, Friday May 18 through Tuesday May 22.
Monday she turns four. I can’t even start to believe it. Wait til I get around to posting some of her 4-year pics (look for those around November. When she’s five). You won’t believe it’s the same kid. She’s still funny and tender to all animals and stubborn and a little loud sometimes. She still cracks me up with randomness and kid drama, and she still wants me to lie in bed with her at night for a few minutes before she goes to sleep. I marvel at the depths of emotion I feel when I smell her hair or see her draw a picture of herself, hand-in-hand with me, big smiles and bright colors.
Happy Birthday, Jellybean, my great big almost-four-year-old girl. I can't wait til tomorrow.