Disneyland: Finding Magic and Wonder


With one of my daughters busy with summer internships and getting ready to go off to college in just a month, we weren’t able to plan any family vacation time this year — which means I’ve been on a mission to escape the stresses of the world in small summery chunks.  This week it was Disneyland.  I’m not really sure that a crowd of patient parents and anxious children in Fantasyland or the long, hot lines to get on to California Soarin’ were really an escape, but there is no escaping the magic – or the joy oozing from my 15-year-old daughter as she ran up to the Fairy Godmother or Mary Poppins’ Burt for a picture.  It was through her eyes that I was able to see past the press of people and find my own giddy joy and wonder.  It’s all in the details really – and in the people:  the kids in strollers, waving their bubble wands and filling the skies with tiny, magical bubbles . . . the shy girl, hiding behind her mother’s leg, as Minnie Mouse signed her book of autographs . . . Natalie, the Disney cast member in front of “It’s a Small World” who helped us negotiate the perfect spot to watch the parade and fireworks . . . a little boy’s wide eyes as he dug into a sundae half his size . . . and the 3-year-old, curly-haired girl who danced with amazing abandon throughout the light parade.  According to a mile tracker, we walked over eight miles – and while our feet may have complained, our hearts were injected with the spirit of what’s possible with imagination.

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