It was shorter than I remembered, and jumpier, yet I waited in line for 45 minutes to ride Peter Pan’s Flight.
With Scarlet and Cassidy in the flying ship in front of me, my Aunt Marilyn to my side, and Des on my lap, we soared and dipped. “You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!” It was in my head for days. Weeks. Before our Disney trip, during and after. It came on my Pandora at random, since usually my Pandora Disney station only plays princess songs because I generally “thumbs up” them and skip over the rest, at Scarlet’s request. This song came up on the way to the airport, when I needed it most. You CAN fly.
I knew something was wrong on our last day of vacation when I wanted everyone but Des to be away from me.
He is still exempt, such as when he was nursing, because I may always think of him as my plus-one. My add-on. One of the best decisions of my life, and a pretty great companion to hang out with. If you like people throwing balls and shoes at your head.
So on my last day when options were limited, I chose to go back to the crazy Disney Village we had visited on our first day. In the rain. My choices were an arcade/bar & a building full of bounce houses, my cousin’s house, or Disney Village with Des. I chose that last option. I thought it was the only place I could go without tears welling up in my eyes and threatening to spill at any given moment. And if they had to spill, so be it. What could be better than spilled tears in the pouring rain in Disney Village? At least I’d get a free Ghirardelli chocolate sample for my pain, as well as shelter from the rain in these over-cheerful stores.
I wanted to be at a place swarming with people, because I felt alone. Or lonely. I couldn’t tell the difference.
I was everywhere all at once. At different times, at the same place. I was four-years-old and armed with false cheer, disorientation and a slight fear of adults in furry costumes. My father had just passed and how I was to know he wasn’t coming home? And he certainly wasn’t at Disney World. I wonder if I searched for his face in the sweaty crowd of strangers, anyway.
How could I have known? What did I know?
The second time I was at Disney, and the last time I went to Epcot (I think?), I had a meltdown in front of that giant golf ball thingy. I was with my maternal grandfather. He passed away not long after Des was born in July of 2012. The third and last time I went to Disney (at 19), was the last time I saw both of my paternal grandparents together, before my grandma passed away.
I waited all week for some sort of explosion or anxiety attack. I knew I was in for it somehow, to some degree. On the last day, in the rainy Disney Village with my son, did I allow myself the luxury of tears coming to my eyes after “When You Wish Upon a Star” blared out over the speakers. It was then that I experienced a bit of a letdown that Scarlet’s big adventure was winding down. It was then that I allowed myself to think of myself and how lost I felt that day. How I longed to be lifted up.
I sat with Des and we split a snack. I got him out of the rain, although he was wearing an adorable ducky raincoat. I felt like I owed it to all of the generations sandwiching my own. To un-lose myself that day. To un-lonely myself. To rejoin my family.
To encourage their steps, and cushion their falls.
And wouldn’t you know, the rain did stop. The storm inside did too. For now.
Something about being on vacation often brings out the Hot Mess inside. It’s when I’m out of my element and routine. No matter how much progress I have made in my life, when I’m not in my space and comfort, I can feel left behind. Lost. Disoriented. And yet it also brings out the inner strength and core that will do anything to make this a fun time for my kids. The nagging feelings I kept having, I keep having, that I’m ugly and incapable, and constantly running to catch up to Cassidy and Scarlet, only to have them run off some more. Always, those two. Well this is mixed with laughter and joy, new/old memories, smiles with Des.
It’s a mixed bag.
I’m only lost, sometimes, and I’m only lost, sometimes, within my very own head. I can rejoin at any time. I can be found.
I can find myself. Over and over again. I can withdraw, and I may always be someone who does so in order to breathe the life back in.
As long as I keep finding my way back again.
“Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
As sweet fullfillment of their secret drowns
Like a boat out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through”
Keep staying tuned! Those theme park “real camera” photos are happening soon! After a very awesome Ask Away Friday, of course.