We never had a lot of money growing up so we didn’t have the luxury of taking “real” family vacations. Our version of vacation was usually a day trip to Kings Dominion, or a weekend trip to Williamsburg in a rented motorhome.
(Someday, I’ll have to write down some of my motorhome stories because they are doozies. I won’t even change the name to RV to make it sound nicer.)
While they weren’t dream vacations by any stretch, they were still thrilling to me nonetheless. I waited with extreme anticipation for vacation day to come and felt like it was a dream when I was actually there. In the park.
From what I recall, we generally walked the park together, as a family of (at the time) five. There was a lot of waiting for me and my sister while we went on the kiddie rides and more waiting while my sister and brother went on the bigger rides that I was too frightened to face.
My mom couldn’t do the rides that went around because they made her nauseous. And my dad couldn’t do roller coasters because he was afraid of heights.
Even worse was when my mother decided we needed to go on a boat ride, meaning a ride on the slowest boat ever built. Or she would decide it was time for a show.
Enjoying a nice relaxing ride on the People Mover in Tomorrowland
It was torture. We wanted our day to be filled with endless rides with seconds wasted only while waiting in line for the next ride. Instead, we were at the mercy of our parents.
And then I spent this past week at Disney in Orlando. And I became my mother.
I found myself wanting to take a water shuttle across the lake at Epcot. I noticed that I wanted more sitdown meals. I suggested shows and we watched short films.
Ah yes. A nice sitdown lunch at Mamma Mia’s in Hollywood Studios.
Still wanting to have fun and be a cool mom, I rode the big rides. Once.
I did Space Mountain and Star Tours and Test Track and Everest. And I felt nauseous. The boys (my husband and my son) wanted to go on again and I would oblige them by sitting down on a bench with the bags and hats and whatever else needed to be held.
When the boys hit Everest for the third time, I went on the Discovery Trail instead.
Sure, we closed down the parks every night but I could barely move and was thrilled when we saved the last day of our trip for the park that closed at 5pm. I was so ready for an early evening.
Then Evan begged us all to go to the pool. It wasn’t warm enough for me so I opted to go to the hot tub (which was too hot). I tried the pool and got in like a mom. Slowly. Swirling in the cool waters until it reached mid-thigh and I realized I had gone as far as I could go.
I walked out of the pool, wrapped myself in towels, and waved to the boys from a loungechair.
I’m the mom. I carry the stuff we need for the park in my purse. I make sure everyone has sunscreen and comfortable shoes. And I like slower rides, warmer water, and theme park shows.
For the record, I still goofed around. I danced in the park. I screamed on the roller coasters. I even took time for a little kung fu.