Building Memories…. Or, how I validate paying for park tickets and going to the pool

So… I have kids.  Three actually and they’re little.  My oldest is 5, my youngest is 1.  We have always taken them to WDW and truthfully its been pretty easy – honestly I think its a little harder once they are older and not in a stroller anymore.  Anyway – being tiny humans – they also are developing opinions.  Imagine!  So.  Its their vacation too and we all try to compromise.  In the mornings we may go to the park, do 1 or 2 attractions, head back to the resort for a lunch break, a rest, some pool time or down to the community center.  (We LOVE the one at Bay Lake.  Video games – movies, arts & crafts, other kids to play with – its awesome.)  Some days though – some days my kids want to watch the monorail go by (in the window!  Bonus!), and go the pool or community center.  And that’s all.  What’s a Disney aficionado to do? Well, take a deep breath and go with the flow of the kiddos.  Its much easier on everyone’s nerves and yes, I’m sure I will get to fit in that last ride on Space Mountain before we leave.  Its just… different.  And next year it will be different again and the next year again and so on.  That is the part that I’m learning to slow down to enjoy and appreciate.  My family at this stage – this year in 2012 loves the pool and the community center at Bay Lake Towers.  Going to get hot cocoa at the food court in our jammies at the end of a day and settling in for a Disney movie before bed.  Heading to the pool 5 (or 7) days in a row – so often that we begin to meet and recognize the pool game schedules and organizing cast members.   And we begin to build memories this way.  At the end of our trip my children had plastic bead necklaces like you would make at camp, works of crayon art, character buttons, and we had seen hours of vintage Disney movies that we would never watch at home.  My boys played on those oddly shaped padded benches by the Marketplace in the lobby of the Contemporary as if it were the best playground ever and when asked which pictures he wanted to bring to show his classmates at school, my 5 year old answered, “the fancy monorail pictures!”. Those were of course the pictures of the monorail wrapped with the Avenger movie promos.  That monorail – its the best thing at Disney according to my kids.  And its free.  You don’t even have to have a park pass or be staying on property.  As I let out my resigned sigh of “adult-ness” about getting my money’s worth or some nonsense, my kids are pointing to the fun bricks along the walkway as we go to the Magic Kingdom (for maybe an hour or two), begging to ride the monorail again, asking when we’re going back so that we can go swimming or so that they can play with “Sarah” again (the cast member at the community center).  And you know what – that’s ok – maybe they can teach me something about being in the moment.  Isn’t that what it’s really about – because next year will be completely different.  Again.  

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