May 13, 2010
John suggested two titles for my post today:
1) Is there anything a Superhero cannot fix?
2) Have you ever been put to bed by a six-foot rabbit?
It’s a good day when you can come up with two humdingers like that!
We started out this morning tired… very tired. Jake was coughing… a lot. And, Tanner was definitely not her peppy self. We decided we would just go to Universal, stay for a couple of hours and come home. When we got there, we discovered that Universal is no Disney World. You walk a long way to get into the park and the workers didn’t seem nearly as kind or customer service oriented. The kids were comatose, just going through the motions.
Then, as we were walking through Super Hero Island, some loud music came blaring out of the speakers and Superheros came riding down the street on three-wheelers. Jake and Tanner were mesmerized and we got in line, immediately, to get autographs and pictures. No heading to the front of the line here, we just waited with everyone else, hot and tired… bummer.
Then, Captain America noticed Tanner’s button and asked her a few questions and pointed her in the direction of… Andy… the true Superhero of the day. Andy pulled us aside and escorted us to a quiet, shaded spot where after about five minutes, we were treated to our own private superhero meet and greet!!!! Hurray! We were special again and the kids were enthralled. The Superheros were so kind to the kids and spent so much time with them. We will be forever grateful.
That moment turned the day around. Everyone perked up, we spent some quality time with the Dr. Suess characters as well, rode some rides, saw a Sinbad show, ate a little lunch and headed home in time for naps.
After dinner, the Village turned into Winter Wonderland! There were Christmas decorations everywhere, horse and carriage rides, Santa Claus, a Christmas parade and even snow from a snow machine. Unbelievable! Tanner and her new friend Maddy, raced around dancing with the parade characters and decorated some Christmas cookies while Jake and I chased a reindeer around and played in the fake snow.
We hustled the kids home for bed, who were indignant that we cut the party a little short for them. But, we had a special surprise… Ms. Merry, the wife of the Mayor Clayton of Give Kids the World Village (and a six-foot rabbit) came to tuck the kids in and put them to bed. They were enchanted. She led them to bed, pulled up the covers, checked under the bed for monsters and turned out the lights. Of course, after she left, John and I spent a good half-hour trying to get them calm enough to go to sleep!
Here’s the thing about being here. It’s not just the amusement parks or this amazingly fun village or anything else that there is to do here. It’s how special the kids feel. How after so many months of sacrifice, disappointment and pain, they feel magically, wonderfully special. That is the magic of this trip and we will be forever grateful to all the volunteers and employees of Make-A-Wish, Give Kids the World Village and the theme parks for making our kids have one shining, magical week in the midst of this hardship.