A Conundrum

We just got back from a wonderful March break vacation.  We spent a couple of days in Florida, and then went on a four-night Disney cruise through the Bahamas.  It was as magical as you would imagine it to be; after all, Disney does magic like no other.  This was a vacation more than two years in the planning, and we travelled with dear friends of ours who have a child similar in age to ours.

We had sun and sand and waterslides abound (Travel Tip: when attempting the tube slide at Disney’s private island, be aware that you will shoot out the bottom like a human cannonball and end up choking on Caribbean seawater; fun for the whole family to witness.).  It was a week to remember, and our children, ages seven and four, are the perfect mix of old-enough-to-participate-in-everything and young-enough-to-believe-in-everything.  And that’s where my slight hesitation comes in…..

Let’s not call this a problem.  There are bigger problems in life than Disney cruises.  Let’s not even call it an issue.  Let’s perhaps call it a conundrum.  Yes, let’s call it that, because conundrum is not a word I have ever used in a blog before and likely never will again.  My conundrum is this:

Disney princesses are a big part of a Disney cruise, and perhaps a big part of the whole Disney experience itself.  In fact, you have to line up just to get tickets that allow you to line up to actually meet said princesses.  Now, my four year-old daughter is not what I would call a girly-girl, but she is somewhere between that and a tomboy.  She likes to wear dresses, likes to have her fingernails painted, but also likes to have messy hair and play road hockey.  Perhaps she would also like shoes and jewelry, but having me for a mother, she has not been exposed to much of that.  Sorry ’bout your luck, kid.

unnamed-4But I played along, and we packed her princess dress and her crown, and lined up to get the  meet-the-princess passes.  My inner feminist was screaming “why?”  Why am I encouraging this?  Why am I teaching my daughter that she should strive to be a princess? I believe in independence!  In strength!  In celebrating accomplishment rather than beauty!  Has Disney not read my blog?  Harrumph.

And then I dialled it back and ate a Mickey bar.  And I realized that imagination and wonder and make-believe are all important, incredible things, even if they come to us in the form of a makeup-ed, hair-sprayed princess.  My little girl actually believed that she was meeting Princess Anna and Queen Elsa.  She felt happy and confident and inspired.  And you know what else?  She actually believed that she was a princess too.  So that’s a wonderful thing.

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*** Disclaimer:  Now I know some of you Disney fans will be thinking, “but what about so-and-so?  She’s a strong princess that Disney has created!  It’s not all Cinderella and Prince Charming anymore!”  And while perhaps that is true, this post is more about the image of a princess in general.  I recommend that you eat a Mickey bar to see my perspective.

 


I’m on vacation.

I’m on vacation. The kind of vacation where the coffee pot stays on all morning and the t-shirt and shorts that were last night’s pyjamas become today’s loungewear.  This is a low-key vacation.  My family and I are in Phoenix, staying with my parents for a week.  They rent a place here every Winter, and we’re often lucky enough to take advantage of March break and spend a week in the sun, while occupying two of their three bedrooms. So I hadn’t really thought of a blog topic for this week.  And I hadn’t really thought about blogging.  I figured I’d skip a week and get back at it when we return home.  But then I checked my email, and I opened some WordPress notifications that get sent to me automatically- people are reading old posts.  People are commenting.  The interwebs are still churning as I lounge in the sun.  And so, as I hook into wi-fi and cruise through Social Media and inboxes abound, I thought I’d share a quote I stumbled upon (and subsequently edited to comply with my G-rating!  Ha!), courtesy of my friend Missy.

“Say how you feel, leave the job you hate, find your passion, love with every ounce of your bones, stand up for things that matter, don’t settle, don’t apologize…. be brave.” 

~ Author Unknown

I leave you with this: inspirational-quotes-28 I’ll see you at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic on Monday, March 23rd.


Have Kids, Will Travel

If you have children, perhaps you can relate. If you have young children, I’m sure you can relate…

We just got back from a sun-filled, fun-filled week in Phoenix, visiting my snowbird parents. Our 8-hour delay at Chicago’s O’Hare airport aside, the trip was hassle-free; my husband and I got to relax, and my children got memory-making grandparent time. But vacationing now is much, much different than my 20-something single self remembers.

I am the person with a bored, tired baby on a delayed flight. Smile at her and be kind to me. I once was you, and one day you may be me.

I am the person who has to haul a stroller, carseats, and a diaper bag through the airport so that my children can be safe and comfortable. Hold the door for me. Let me get off the elevator. If my belongings look cumbersome and awkward to you, imagine how they feel to me.

I am the person who has an inquisitive, energetic four-year-old. Model good manners. Exercise your patience. No one wants him to stop kicking your seat more than me.

I am the person who takes more time to check-in, to get through security, and to board the plane. Realize that I am doing my best to move quickly. We all started out as children, learning the ways of the world. Help me teach them the ways.

I am the person who stops to look at the dinosaur exhibit, the neon lights on the ceiling, and every water fountain in the airport. Go around me. Rush past me. But if you take the time, you may feel some of the joy that my children do in these ‘everyday’ things.

Put yourself in my shoes. Put yourself in their shoes. And enjoy it.

Basking in the Phoenix sun with Uncle Ryan and Auntie Al.

Enjoying the Phoenix sun with Uncle Ry and Auntie Al.