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A little pinch of pain

Cheryl is with Adam today at the Magic Kingdom, outside of Orlando. Around here this is nothing special, particularly for the last year. A little over a year ago we cashed in a few years of reward points on our Chase Disney Visa Card and bought annual passes. The kids have loved it. It’s meant almost unlimited Disney. We’ve used every discretionary dollar to indulge their inner mouse, doing several character breakfasts/dinners – where you and a select group of diners sit, relax, eat pretty decent food, and hug the Disney characters as they walk around having fun with the guests.

Even for a mouse doubter like myself, it’s pretty cool… especially when you see the kids’ reactions, particularly Adam. Beth’s reached the stage of teen reserve, where anything they see as below them is tolerated rather than enjoyed. Superficially anyway.

You may know this is the last weekend in February. What you may not know is our annual passes are good through this February. With school next week and church obligations tomorrow, the Disney window closes this evening.

Cheryl has been a world class mother these last few months, going way beyond the call of duty. She’s done the over and back, single day trip to the Magic Kingdom with the kids almost every Saturday since January, milking every bit of value and magic from the passes, and the kids have been anything but unenthusiastic participants. They haven’t tired a bit of it all. Since I have trouble walking ten minutes, let alone all day, I’ve had Saturday’s to myself at home. But that’s ok. I knew the kids were having a great time. Before Beth started a confirmation class this fall, requiring she attend an early Mass on Sundays, our Disney trips were weekend mini-vacations, staying over with my sister in Orlando.

Now it’s over. Adam and Cheryl are probably in the car now, driving home knowing it could be the last time in a LONG time. With financial uncertainties the coming year, we’re not sure we’ll be able to keep the house, let alone renew our passes.

Beth had her somber farewell last week, knowing she had a church function all day today.

This is not a tragedy however. Obviously no notes of sympathy are necessary. Everyone’s healthy. They may not even need all five of Kübler-Ross’ stages.

But anytime my kids feel bad, a little of it rubs off on me.

It’s all part of the package we call parenthood.

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