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Family, Parenting

DisneyWorld or bust

Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom. You think I can get inside?

I’m so excited! Catherine’s school chorus will travel to DisneyWorld in April for a competition. She’s never been there before, and neither have I!

Having been raised on Walt’s amazing creations and Sunday evening episodes of “The Wonderful World of Disney,” I’m very eager to go and commune with the stories and attractions that colored my childhood.

Chaperones are needed and I’m practically packed, but there is one little problem: My prior transgressions have caught up with me.

It seems my knack for being embarrassing (see the Midlife Confessions post from mid-August) and my helicopter parenting are deal-breakers. Catherine says I may not go, and Basil agrees.

Three nights ago, the two of them declared me a hovercraft. I prefer to think of myself as cautious. Surely I can’t be the only mother who stood on the playground, arms outstretched, just IN CASE my child tumbled off the slide.

Due to my various work schedules, I haven’t chaperoned a school trip since the kindergarten outing to the Greenwich Audubon. That trip required a lot of bug spray, sunscreen and the exhausting task of counting heads amid the tall grass.

I think I’m up to the challenge, though.

After all, this trip can’t be like the fifth-grade trek to Boston, where Basil was the only male chaperone. Catherine and her classmates stayed overnight in the Boston Science Museum. Basil was, of course, assigned to the boys, whose provisions included dark clothing, so they could sneak up on the girls in the dark, as well as cans of silly string.

The boys didn’t understand how Basil knew what they were up to as they crept along the carpet on all fours. They waited and waited in vain for him to go to bed.  “Don’t you ever sleep?” they wanted to know.

Basil told them no, and created a legend for himself in the process. For a long time the kids believed Catherine Vanech’s dad never slept. They called him “Eagle Eye.”

I’m not sure I’ll earn a nickname, but I will certainly require sleep on the trip to Florida.

After all, I will need to look fresh when I meet Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and have lots of energy for the Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes, the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion and the fireworks display.

I hope there’ll be time for Epcot. Maybe I can get a turn on stage in the “American Idol Experience” or ride one of the floats in the parade on Main Street.

I’m packing my Mickey ears and brushing up on all the musical classics so I can sing along to “Zippity Do Da,” “Heigh-Ho,” “It’s a Small World,” “Bippity Boppity Boo,”  “Bare Necessities” and “Under the Sea.”

It’ll be a great trip!

Catherine will hardly notice I’m there.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


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