Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Common Ground

I've mentioned on here before how every year at Christmas time we take a trip to Disneyland.  I am aware at how lucky we are to leave near the Happiest Place on Earth.  I am also aware of how even more fortunate we are that we get in for free thanks to my good friend Melinda, who works for Disney.  (Hi Melinda!)  We have been going every year since Sonya was two or three.  Even the years when the little girls were babies.  However, I do not understand why anyone would want to take a newborn to  Disney unless they had an older sibling with them.  It is not always fun with a newborn especially when you are breastfeeding.  I can point out many places throughout the park where I had to stop to nurse one of the  girls.  Outside of Minnie's house, yup.  Main Street, check. During one of the parades, been there.  

The first few years we visited the park our trip was was mostly about seeing the characters, because that's all the girls cared about.  That and a ride on Dumbo and the Carousal and we were done.  In the past couple of years, however, it has become more exciting as they have become older, taller and more willing to ride some of the more fun or adventurous rides.

Sonya was, of course, the first to go on those rides like Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain.  I myself happen to LOVE roller coasters, so waiting for my girls to be old enough to take on these rides was like waiting to be tall enough to ride them myself.  Sonya will ride them most of the time.  They are not always her favorite and she could really take them or leave them. Besides, after last year's incident with the Indiana Jones ride, she is more nervous about hopping on a coaster.   This year was the first year Lana and Georgia were able to ride both coasters.  Lana was apprehensive about doing it, but Georgia...Georgia couldn't wait.

The first one we braved was Big Thunder Mountain.  Lana was a bit nervous as we got on the ride.  She was sitting behind me with Melinda, because she insisted she was going to ride with Melinda.  You'd think she would want to ride with her mom or dad, but no.  Gotta be Auntie Melinda.  Georgia and Andy were in the car behind them and Sonya was with me.  During the course of the ride I could hear Georgia giggling and screaming in delight the whole time.  I turned around to see how Lana was doing, and to say she had a look of sheer terror on her face would be an understatement.  For those of you who have never been on Big Thunder Mountain, it's pretty tame as far as roller coasters go.  It's a perfect first coaster for kids though because of that.  Still, Lana did not look like she was having fun,  especially compared to the ear to ear grin and giggles GG was sporting.  

Once the ride was over Georgia exclaimed how much fun it was and Lana, trying to be upbeat, said it was okay. Yes, that was upbeat for her. Although by the end of the day she claimed it as her second favorite ride, so who knows. I do know when I mentioned Space Mountain I received a very definite "Nuh-uh!" from her.  Sonya was also not all that excited at the mention of Space Mountain.  She has been before, but again, she's never super excited for it.  Georgia on the other had was asking about it non stop.

After dinner and a ride on the Hunted Mansion and Pirates, we decided to split up.  Andy took the two older girls to wait in the forever line at Peter Pan while Melinda and I took Georgia to explore the space coaster.  

When we got there the wait said 45 minutes which I knew was pushing it, but figured it wouldn't take that long so we hopped in.  Unfortunately, the time was wrong but we were on the bad end of it. We ended up waiting for over an hour.  I was more than a little annoyed by the time we got to the front, but Georgia was still in good spirits and she was so excited for the ride I let it go.

She sat next to me in the car and wiggled around her seat when we got in, full of energy and smiles.  I remember taking Sonya on that same ride just a few years before and what a different experience it was.  She was anxious and holding on to me for dear life.  Georgia was completely the opposite.  She was on a high of happy and excitement.  I had warned her that it would be really dark and if she was scared to just hold on to me.  I could tell from the moment the ride started there would be no scaring her.  We went through the first tunnel of lights making it look like we were about to take off and I looked over to see her smiling and looking around, completely thrilled.  As we made our way through the winding darkness of the coaster, she giggled and screamed just as she had on Big Thunder Mountain. She probably didn't need to hold on to me, but I was holding tight to her, you know just to be sure she didn't fall out.  (Sometimes it's hard to have fun and not still have mom thoughts in your head.)

As the two minute ride came to a speeding stop, I looked over at her finally visible in the light.  Her hair was wild and all over the place and she was still smiling, perhaps bigger than before.  As we approached the place where we were to exit, I asked her how it was and she yelled,


 I was so excited she was excited I thought about it for a second.  Yeah, except I wasn't waiting an hour again.  I will admit it was totally worth the hour wait the first time to realize that I had found my roller coaster kid.  She didn't have a bit of her that had been scared.  Nothing but excitement and fun.  Exactly the way I was when I was her age with roller coaster.  I was never scared. 

 It's always interesting when you find something in common with one of your kids.  Whether it's love of roller coasters, taste in food or your favorite animal being the same.  Some of it is nurture sure, but there was no way I would have coaxed Lana into going on that ride.  On the other hand this was all nature for Georgia. No amount of nurturing needed.   It is something that brings me closer to her as she grows in to her own person.  Even if the other two don't feel the same way, there are other interests that I can relate to with them.  I can't wait to found out what those are over the years.  Slowly, we are transitioning out of the just taking care of the kids and making sure they stay alive, to seeing them develop as people with their own personalities.  Even though they don't need me as much as they once did,  I get to now see what we will have in common to share in life.  That being said,  I can't wait to see who is going to be the wine drinker so I have someone else to go wine tasting with.   After they turn 21 of course.  Although that interest should never be combined with the roller coaster interest.  The results would be disastrous.  At least for me.  

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