By Amanda from Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.com
I witnessed a proposal at the Magic Kingdom in early June, sitting quietly beside my three teen/pre-teen age children waiting for the Magic, Memories, and You! show to begin. It reminded me that love is precious, life is sometimes short, and I pondered if the Disney memories I give my children now will affect their lives as adults?
Within 30 minutes of the proposal, my youngest son and soon-to-be 5th grader verbally started planning where he would propose to his wife. He has always talked about having a family of his own, and he thought the castle was a fabulous spot to pop the question. I told him I would always have a camera ready to capture the moment if he would have me along on his special trip. He hugged me and said, “Of course you’ll be there. Where else would you be?” Oh, if life were only as simple as seen through the eyes of an eleven-year-old.
Disney has given this child something to talk about with me for years, planning trips, chatting about snacks we’ll share. We talk about our plans for my retirement in Orlando, and how he wants to get a job as a dentist and work there. He thinks we can live in the same neighborhood. If he can just find the right girl who will allow him to bring his mom on vacation, I’ll be set up. I will miss our Disney planning as he grows older and starts planning dates with cooty-infested girls and practicing his trumpet without me, but I hope the seed is planted.
My middle child and soon to be 7th grader reacted to the proposal by reiterating,”I am never getting married. Can we ride Space Mountain now?” This son has been saying he wanted no part of marriage or kids of his own since he was four, which I have to admit, tears at my heart. I have been married for 20 years, and I have three kids, a mortgage, and a dog. It doesn’t get any more family oriented than that. Him not getting married is going to mess up my plans for playing with his children, my grand-children, in the sand in front of the Polynesian Resort. But then, this is not my life, it is his. So I don’t tell this child he might one day bring a girlfriend or family to Disney, but I do wonder if watching all the families there will shape how he sees adulthood. I just simply say,”I bet Space Mountain will still look like this when you have to help me out of my wheelchair to ride it.”
My teen-age daughter, starting 9th grade high school this year, stood up from the Magic, Memories and You! show and announced,”If I don’t get proposed to in front of Cinderella Castle, then the whole deal may just be off.” I laughed and said,”I guess I should have a talk with the boy then, once you are 28, and he can afford a ring. You have to meet him first. Don’t rush it.” I have to tell myself not to worry. She will find the right guy one day, and she will be stunning in a wedding dress, and I will be totally broke if she plans the wedding I anticipate she will plan. I don’t even mention you can get married at Disney to this one; I just keep it in the back of my mind. And maybe I roll some quarters and hide them in a sock drawer, for the wedding deposit.
If only I can live long enough to see my kids married and happy. I have no life-threatening illnesses. I have no reason to think I will be any place other than attending two weddings and watching two sets of grandkids. Ok, three sets if middle child changes his mind. But in a day and age where people get shot in movie theaters and gunned down in the street for telling cars to slow down, I sometimes ponder the inevitable…I won’t always be here to vacation with my kids.
Have I done all I can to make my children the best people they can be? Did I talk to them enough? Will they remember our late nights aboard monorails and walking the dog around the block while planning the perfect Disney place to share a snack? I took them to Disney, and one night, we sat and watched a proposal together. For today, I’ll just have to hope that memory stays with them as a reminder that I was there, and that I tried my best as their mom.
For better or worse, in sickness and in health, I took them to Disney and we made some memories. What they do with those memories remains to be seen.
Like to see the whole story of the proposal?
Time goes by fast, so go hug your kids…
Amanda, Cheapskate Princess Extraordinaire