As our children have grown through the years our time with them has decreased, as can be expected, while they have been creating lives of their own. My youngest son is 18 and still lives at home. My daughter is still home as well but she is now 21, has finished college, and will soon be moving out on her own. My eldest son is a new daddy and so he has been blessed with a home and family of his own.
Years ago, when our children were 6, 8 and 14 we took our first family trip to Walt Disney World. Every year since then, we have taken an annual trip to WDW to spend ten glorious days there for Thanksgiving. That magical ten day trip each year is heaven on earth for me. I have all my loved ones together, having fun with no work, no worries -- just love and togetherness.
My husband was raised in a family that never went on vacations. In contrast, I was born into a family that went on summer vacations every year. When I was eight, I had my first trip to Disneyland. At 15, I discovered Walt Disney World thanks to my mom, another Disney lover. I think both my husband's and my past histories play a large part in our unwavering commitment to taking these trips. We go every year because, to us, our family time is precious.
I realized last year that what we have been doing during these yearly trips is creating little memory stores that will seep out through the years to come. I have a feeling that those memories will prove to be invaluable in their lives and in the lives of their children. Now that my precious granddaughter has been born, I have been thinking about how Disney has really become our family legacy. At only 5 1/2 months old, Aleyah will grab for Minnie Mouse given the choice of a number of items, although she has not been taught to do so. This is what separates us from many of the other families we know. We are a Disney family...and I am just fine with that. In fact, I am proud of that.
I hope that in the years to come, our children will reflect on our special family trips together. I hope they will remember how happy we all were. Soon, my granddaughter will be the one who is Daddy’s little princess dancing with her father in front of Cinderella Castle. Someday, I might also have a grandson that will discover the miracle that his parents really are a lot of fun when "real life" is not getting in the way.
All of my family is in love with Walt Disney World. This year, we will introduce a fourth generation Disney lover to this wonderful family tradition. Our family vacations are priceless and I cherish these moments with them. At any time during one of our trips, you can find me daydreaming, thinking to myself that THIS is surely what a happy life is all about. For me, Disney is family!