My timing as a parent is more often than not, off. Like way, way off. Like having a baby at the same age when all of my friends were thinking about getting a dog kind of off.
But I nailed the timing this spring break. My sons are 8 and 10—straddling the divide between magic and reality. They can walk all day, carry their own stuff and are generally willing to wait for something they want.
Which means, in short, they are perfect ages for theme parks.
We went big—Harry Potter, Universal, Disney and Legoland.
Theme parks were exactly what this little family of mine needed—a break from real.
– Elke Govertsen
My oldest son’s face when he saw Hogwarts (HOGWARTS, I mean, COME ON!) was where the real magic was—honestly, I cried.
Watching my eight-year-old wave at characters on parade floats with all of the sincerity in the world in his little arm—again, I cried. It was Alice in Wonderland, for heaven’s sake. And yes, all of my theme park crying was centered around characters from actual books.
Our life is really, really REAL these days. It’s busy, we are stressed, there is the flood of neverendings (things like homework, laundry and dinner after dinner). Theme parks were exactly what this little family of mine needed—a break from real. We jumped in—we let go of words like “contrived,” “commercial,” and “fake.” Because at this moment in time—this precious, tiny window between having babies and having teenagers—my sons believed. We held instead to each other’s hands and words like “magic”, “memories” and “together”.
And that was all I needed to believe too.
Cue the fireworks. And the crying.