Thursday, August 21, 2008

Photostory Friday: Magic Moments

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


I love Disneyland. I always have. I'm a sucker for anything that Walt Disney (the man, not the conglomerate) had a hand in. This past May, we took a trip to Southern California -- a first for my kids. As a kid, Disneyland was a magical place to me, but, as a parent, taking my own children there for the first time, it was even better. As we grow older, cynicism creeps into many areas of our lives. One of the great blessings of having children, is that they are seeing everything for the first time. It's all fresh and new, and that wide-eyed amazement is infectious. California is only two states away from us, but Disneyland is not likely to be a place that we get back to on a regular basis. My kids are still at ages where they can be truly astonished by something, so I wanted this trip to be special. I wanted each of my kids to have that moment -- that experience that would burn itself into their memories, and stay with them all their lives. 
For Emma, that was easy. The look on her face, the first time she saw a life size, flesh and blood, Disney Princess, told me that the moment had arrived (the first time she saw a life size, flesh and blood Goofy, was somewhat more traumatic).


Jordan is almost eleven, and not as easily wowed. But, ever the model, she lit up when a large crowd gathered to watch as she sat for a caricature, in New Orleans Square. They "Ooed" and "Awed" and told her how beautiful she was. With Jordan, sometimes that's all it takes. But, for my money, it was Matt who had the coolest experience of them all -- because it was mine too. 


Matthew loves Star Wars, and in Tomorrowland right now, there is an ongoing attraction called "The Jedi Training Academy." Several times each day, a crowd gathers around the stage, and a couple of "Jedi Masters" pull several kids from the audience, dress them in robes, and give them lightsabers, for a little Jedi training.  After the kids have practiced for several minutes, the area is suddenly secured by Stormtroopers, and then who makes an appearance? DARTH VADER! Followed shortly by DARTH MAUL! -- and they look like they just walked off of the movie set. They try to turn the young apprentices to the dark side of the Force, and, finally, it is determined that the only way to settle the issue is for each of the kids to face, either Darth Vader or Darth Maul, in a duel. 
I digress here to say that I was born in 1972. Star Wars was my childhood (and not a small chunk of my adulthood, for that matter).


So, Matt fought a lightsaber duel with Darth Maul! That was Matt's moment. When it was all over, the only thing bigger than the smile on his face, was the smile on the face of his father -- who had just lived, vicariously, through Obi-Matt-Kenobi. 
It ended up being a magical moment between my son and me -- one of those rare instances where generations come together. My son really looks nothing like me. We want our children to grow to be independent individuals, with their own ideas and characteristics, but, for that brief moment, it was a thrill to see myself, in the boy standing before me. 
I took hundreds of pictures on this trip. This one of Matthew is my favorite. 

27 comments:

MamaGeek said...

WOW.ZA. What a fantastic time. That entry sign truly does say it all. I've been to DisneyWorld many times and still, it just wows me again and again.

And that Ariel? Yeah, she's good - she nailed that.

Supercool Hotmama said...

What a thrill for each of them!! Dad too it sounds like! 3 times over!!!

beth said...

Oh, my girls would be wowed by that Ariel too! What a great trip.

Robyn said...

That is way cool with the star wars. He must have been ecstatic. I know exactly where your coming from with the star wars, I was so jealous of my cousin who had every figurine and would only let us play with his doubles.

Sarah Brooks said...

Fun! Fun! Fun! Sounds like a magnificent time. I bet you had the best time of all just watching your kids enjoy themselves!

Mary said...

What a memorable trip! I can't believe your son got to fight Darth Maul!! Glad each one had their own 'moment'.

Susan said...

That's awesome! Go Obi-Matt-Kenobi! I have to have my husband read this entry...he will live vicariously through it too...hahaha.

tommie said...

Those are lifelong memories for sure!

Pampered said...

I cannot WAIT until my kiddos are old enough to experience the joy of Disney.

Neutral Dwelling said...

I remember when my daughter had her picture made with Ariel.... It stayed out for years! It was a magical experience for her too!

CrackerJacks said...

Disney is one of my favorite places on earth! I cannot wait until my kids are old enough to go! Great photos, especially of the sign.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

AWESOME!! Love this story!
We must get to Disneyland! We went to Diseny in FL last year (kids too small - FL TOO STINKING HOT for any fun!
Great PSF!

Pinky said...

They'll never forget those moments!

Karin said...

Its always lovely to be able to do something for your kids that you'll know they love. Experiences do seem twice as enjoyable through the eyes of a child. Loved your post!

Ryanne said...

am a bit of a star wars geek myself so that would really have been my favorite part of the whole trip too. I guess I wouldn't have expected that there, course I've never been there so what would I know! Great pictures!

Shannon said...

So touching! I always get teary when I hear about a special moment between a father and his son because those moments shape those boys forever. He had a wonderful time but I am sure that it was the delight on his father's face that really made the day special. Awesome!

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Love the story and the detail... my husband and boys are also huge Star Wars fans!!

I'm glad you had such an opportunity to have so many magical moments with your little ones!!

scrappysue said...

awww - disneyland's great for kids of ALL ages (even grownups) hehe - i love it

Golightly said...

so I opened your blog to read your Photo Story and stopped dead in my tracks (although I am sitting) The very first picture is my picture, how did she get my picture? ...flashes through my tiny little brain in a millisecond. As if I am the ONLY person who has taken a picture of that sign...
Scary, I know.

The thing is, I took a picture of it to post on my blog when my annual pass ran out, haven't posted it yet.

So, needless to say I LOVE your post today. Great pictures! I have the Jedi Training sign posted here and a picture of Darth Maul here from our last day that your son may like. (Unfortunately for me, I don't have girls)

Sorry so long, I just love Disneyland - especially through the eyes of my son.

Crazymamaof6 said...

this was ONE Fabulous photo story! thank you for sharing the Magic! and OH,so fun to go to Disneyland!

dianne - bunny trails said...

How cool! What a very fun PSF. Especially the Star Wars part. Of course, being the mom of two boys, that's the part that offers relatability. :D

Thanks for dropping by to see my crazy cat.

Crazy Mama said...

Looks like a great time! I miss Disneyland.

that girl said...

I grew up with star wars as well and my kids are ten and seven. we have not made the trip to disneyland yet but after reading your post, we must make the time. thanks for your story.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

How cool is that?! I would have loved it. Being a mere 2 years younger than you, I too grew up with Star Wars and it would have been a fun experience!
I think there is a magical age to hit Disneyland ...my older ones were there too young and it's not looking like we will get back anytime soon, since it has been 10 years since our last visit.

Alexandria said...

I am so jealous! Great pictures! What an awesome experience to have and such a wonderful connection between you and your son.

Thanks so much for stopping by my PSF entry!

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

We live near Disney World (in Florida), and I also photographed that "here you leave today and enter the world...." plaque last time we were there. I thought I was a nut for doing so. The Disney World plaque is round, but I think it says the same thing.

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a fantastic PSF. Really, I got chills thinking of Matt's joy and the wonderful memories your kids are going to have (Obi-Matt-Kenobi-- hilarious). This really was a great post.
(My Hubby was born around the same time and TOTAL Star Wars freak...which rubbed off on all of us).