|My last adventure when my mom visited – meeting Paula Deen!|
Back when I started this journey I shared a bit of my past (so much that it took two parts!). I will be the first to say that I’m not “normal” and don’t ever plan on becoming normal. I’ve always wanted nothing more than a “normal” family that I thought so many other people had. As I grew, I realized that more and more people weren’t “normal” and didn’t have a “perfect” family. While I understand that people don’t have sitcom families who all get along or can fight and make up without long lasting effects, I still long for a family like this. I look at the world and interactions a bit differently than most others do. I’m always wondering when the “bad” is coming, what the other person wants from my relationship, what the other person’s thinking and how much I’m going to let this person into my life. People are always shocked to hear that I rarely speak with my parents (I last saw my dad at my wedding just over six years ago and saw my mom last summer when we went up for a visit though my mom and I do share emails on occasion). Sometimes I’m still shocked too. It hurts an unbelievable amount when I sit down and think about the situation and how we all got to where we are today which is so far from where I would like it to be. I feel like I’ve tried so many times to help make the situation better and don’t know what else to do at this point. Part of me feels like I’m the child and shouldn’t have to put the work into making it better while I also know that if I want something different, then I need to change the way I look at things and try to make that improvement.
Enter Disney. Disney is my safe place. I go there to relax and let go of the stresses of the outside world. I don’t have to think about anything but fun while I’m there and that’s a huge part of the attraction for me. I struggled for a long time over if we should invite our families to come with us to Disney. I don’t want any unhappy or uncomfortable memories associated with my happy place. But I took the plunge and made the plans! My husband’s mom and my mom and step dad are coming to Disney with us in October and November this year. My mother in law has been to Disney with us before and it wasn’t too bad I didn’t think. I retreat back into my shell when I’m around people other than my immediate family out of fear of making mistakes and being criticized. I’m really working on this but I’m still very much a work in progress.
I truly feel like Disney will play a big part in trying to make things better with my mom and having some kind of improved relationship with her going forward. I’m finally at a place where I’m comfortable with my Disney navigation skills (I always think people will think I’m a “know it all” when I’m just trying to help) to be comfortable with our group in the park. I’ve also got some great friends in the Orlando/Celebration/Kissimmee area who I’m sure we’ll run into while we’re in the parks to help make things more comfortable as well (I may bribe them to run into us!). To me, the more neutral location will hopefully help everyone feel more comfortable than two years ago when my mom and step dad visited over Thanksgiving when the silence and tension were so sad. I don’t want that to continue and I hope my mom seeing how happy I am at Disney will make her happy for and proud of me.
I’m working hard on plans for this trip from daily park plans to ADRs to special things to do in and out of the parks. We’re all getting our own rooms so we’ll be able to spend time together but also get a break from each other too which will be a good mix I think. I want this trip to be full of magic for everyone going. I don’t want awkward silences, tension or anyone being fake for the sake of the trip. I honestly just want everyone to have a good time and try to find something they love during their time at the happiest place on Earth. As far as I know, this will be my step dad’s first time in the parks and my mom’s first trip in my lifetime (she may have been once when she was very young but I can’t recall 100%) so I want to make the trip extra special and them to experience Disney through my kid’s eyes as well. Some of my current ideas are to send the boys on a pirate cruise (because they loved the last one so much!!) to give my mom, step dad, hubby and I some time to explore the monorail resorts; make sure to take in some of the shows like Festival of the Lion King; take afternoon breaks so everyone can rest up or explore on their own if they’d like and take the boat to Downtown Disney (we’re planning on staying at Port Orleans Riverside) with my mom (and mother in law if she’s there) for some girl time one night once the kids are in bed. I really hope Disney starts us down a path of being “normal”…or as close to it as I’ll ever come.
I’m hoping Tink’s sprinkling a good bit of pixie dust on our travelers so everyone’s in a good frame of mind for the trip and just has an amazing time. What do you like to do at Disney with your family or with a large group?