It’s a moment I don’t want to forget.
The rain clouds began to dissipate, revealing a bright sunny day with a promise of the perfect weather Orlando is known for. As we made our way into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Ryder, my sweet, sensitive 7-year old, beckoned me with his hand.
“I want to look at the castle,” he said.
This is our tradition. Skirting over to the nearest curb to avoid the crowds, I let him drink in the sight of Cinderella’s castle. It didn’t matter that we were too far for an unobstructed view. It didn’t matter that we were pushed together as a steady throng of guests shuffled past us. My entire world was reduced to a little boy, staring in helpless wonder at a fairy tale come to life.
What is he thinking? What does he see? I wondered. Was he imagining himself as the brave prince who fights for the maiden’s honour? Was he envisioning the colourful burst of fireworks that adorn the sky at night? Or did he simply see the castle for what it was – an iconic representation of a place where dreams come true? I had to know.
“What are you thinking?” I asked quietly.
Ryder smiled as a look of pure, innocent love washed over his face.
“I wish Grandma was here. I wish Grandma could see this,” he replied.
Blinking back tears, I held my phone in the air and took a photo to capture the moment I didn’t want to forget. And I made a promise to myself: as soon as I returned home, I would tell my mom that she and my father would be joining us on a Walt Disney World vacation. This year. Without exception. Because this is something we could give Ryder. This is something he would cherish. Together, we could make it happen.
Later, when we returned to Canada, I recounted the moment and shared Ryder’s wishes with his favourite person in the entire world.
“I’m in,” my mom said. “Let’s do it.”
We’re currently in planning mode. Making multi-generational memories? Now THAT’s magical.