My sister-in-law and her kids visited Disney World a few years ago with my son and me. My son had never been, so it was a real treat for me to take him. We rode the Millenium Falcon and saw the Star Wars area that had been set up, which was terrific. Storm Troopers interacted with the park guests, and we even drank blue milk. I was super pumped to find Admiral Ackbar memorabilia!
You’d think that would’ve been the highlight for me, but it wasn’t.
We were given unique one-of-a-kind passes to celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary. Each card displayed a golden Disney character. My sister-in-law got an R2-D2, and I had such high hopes that she would trade with me.
I had Bo-Peep from Toy Story 4. She is a great character, but… y’know… Star Wars…
But it’s not like I would have kept the pass as a souvenir. Being a minimalist and all. So it wasn’t a big deal.
However, on the ferryboat to Magic Kingdom, my niece realized she had left her purse near the restrooms. Her mom was livid. All the fun seemed to drain out of the evening. There was a lot of tension in the air. My son and I were very empathetic and felt like we were also in trouble.
We stayed on the ferry and took it back across to search the area where the purse was last seen. I tried making jokes to ease the tension. One of the employees that worked the ferry noticed that we were still on after everyone left, and I said, “Oh, this ferry is our favorite ride in the whole park. We’ve been looking forward to this all year!”
While it seemed to lighten the mood a little bit, the conversation steered back to the contents of the purse, how it was ruining everyone’s time that we had to go back… yadda yadda.
The purse was nowhere to be seen, so we took the ferry back to Magic Kingdom to visit lost and found. While my sister-in-law and niece were waiting in line, my nephew, son, and I started playing.
First, the kids played with their passes and did their best impressions of the characters on their tickets, pretending they were fighting. I pulled out my pass and said I was like a Pokemon. I could only say Bo-Peep. Usually, Pokemon can only say a part of their name. Think Pikachu.
But since I was Bo-Peep, I came in with this Mr. T deep growl and said, “BOOOOW PEEP!” Then made explosion sounds and said, “Peep this, BOW!”
The kids LOVED it. We were all laughing so hard. I continued to say, “peep this… BOW!” and they would go nuts. If I stopped, they would ask for more. Eventually, I got tired of it, and they asked to borrow my card and would mimic my Mr. T/Bo-Peep voice.
It felt like the instance made the Disney experience right again. I knew we would get the purse back… or we wouldn’t. Either way, things would be fine. There wasn’t a reason to let this dark cloud hang over our time.
Years later, my son still has the Bo-Peep pass, and when I brought it up, we both started right in on the impressions and laughing.
Many people see their kids in their adult years and think, “Hey, this kid is going to make it.” They might go further, ”I’m proud of him, and I did well with the lessons I have taught him.”
But when I think of the way my son is, I’m already proud. I love the compliments people say about him. How good he is at talking to adults. How he isn’t in such a rush to grow up. How he loves life.
There is a lot I am sure I have failed at as a parent, husband, and even maybe as a human being, but I am absolutely proud of the boy my son has become and whatever part I have had in making him who he is.