From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Lakresha Tucker
Spending more time at home with my family has definitely been an unexpected break from the rush & routine of everyday life. I know that my children are literally growing right before my eyes and I try to treasure each day (even though sometimes the “he touched me” or “she started it” comments really make me wish for our schools to reopen!).
Since my husband Corey and I both work fulltime we have been taking turns staying home to keep our parents safe and not expose each other to the virus. It has been a trying time, only going to work & the grocery store, maybe a curbside pick-up for other items. We were so accustomed to going somewhere almost every weekend, whether it’s a day trip to the beach, Braves games (Chop On!) or concerts in Atlanta, long weekends to Orlando…we were definitely spoiled! It was hard to even find one day a month to be at home all day long. Even harder to believe is the fact that I mentioned to my husband just last fall…”maybe it’s time to look at other destinations for vacations, we always go to Disney” Gasp!! How I took advantage of our leisure and flexibility. My kiddos were heartbroken when our Spring Break plans had to be cancelled, we only get the chance to travel at Spring Break every other year because of my husband’s job so this trip was a special one. But COVID19 has derailed everyone’s plans, has made us look at daily life in a completely different light, changed our focus to what we have right in front of us instead of looking and hoping for the next bigger or better thing.
So in this uncertain, crazy time we all do our best to find fun things to do, something to keep us and our children entertained and thinking positively about the situation. We have watched videos, talked about what we want to do when another vacation becomes possible, listened to TMSM Live to interact with friends, taken countless walks while discussing our favorite rides & food. Our family is missing road trips, Disney countdowns marked on our calendar, planning what new restaurants or resorts to try…just having fun away from home. The most recent conversation I had with our kids was about which park they would go to first…the oldest, our son Stellan, picked Epcot and youngest just could not decide, she misses it all! I feel you Clara!
Corey and I now are getting back to working regular schedules, grandparents are helping with the kiddos, but still a big part of our normal is on hold indefinitely and that is just so hard to grasp! One of my favorite Braves players mentioned in an interview last month that this situation is so much bigger than baseball, that really resounded with me. I thought wow that’s an awesome point of view, this virus has literally put a hold on his livelihood yet he can see the bigger picture. So I am trying to think more like him…yes this is frustrating, disappointing, and is totally boring some days, but life is fleeting, I am trying to enjoy each moment, each day even if it’s in my own backyard.
But in thinking about our home away from home…Disney. What do we truly miss? What is it that really makes us sad or reminds us why we love to visit The Happiest Place on Earth? For me it’s the sounds: the music as we stroll through Tomorrowland or Galaxy’s Edge, the laughter of families on The Teacups, the squeals and screams on the coasters, the ahh and oohh of the first-time visitors as they see Cinderella’s castle or Spaceship Earth. It all brings such fond and happy memories to mind, from my first trip on our honeymoon 19+ years ago all the way to our last trip in January for our anniversary at Port Orleans Riverside, there are so many memories tied to the sounds that resonate throughout the parks and resorts. Our children miss the extra playtime, swimming and the feeling of being free from a schedule, of getting up early to catch ride on Flights of Passage or the anticipation of knowing how many days until we leave. I think my husband misses the planning, the organizing of fast pass times with new dining experiences and deciding which resort will we check off next. Not to mention the food…that’s a whole article by itself!
We are so grateful that we have been able to create so many memories at Disney and to introduce our children to this happy place. I think they may know the parks and movies better than we do! But this unusual time in our lives has allowed us all to realize just how fragile life can be, how we need to make sure we celebrate today, to take the time given and make the most, whether it’s playing a new board game, molding playdough into our favorite Disney characters, painting my daughter’s nails ten different colors, having a one on one talk with my now teenage son…these days are sliding away quickly and though we long for a family trip I know that we will look back and realize that these days truly were a gift and there is a purpose for each moment and each mountain that we face and after all the clouds clear and our “normal” returns we can all look back and say look how far we’ve come…remember “Happiness is a state of mind. It’s just according to the way you look at things” Walt Disney.