Making Memories

Taking your kids to Disney, isn’t that the trip that every parent has on their parenting bucket list? Well, the thought process changes when you get divorced. My priorities adjusted to make sure the kids felt safe, secure, and loved.  Ideas like Disney suddenly seemed less important. And seeing friends post their family vacations on Facebook didn’t exactly raise feelings of jealousy. Rather they reminded me of more pressing real-life parental duties, like preparing for my fiancee and future stepson moving into my house.

As Yogi Berra once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” My parents had finalized their move to Florida, and I decided to take Claire and Grady to visit them in February.  They live less than two hours from Orlando.  There’s the fork.  So it was quickly decided that the three of us would take a quick two day trip to visit Disneyworld while we were there.

Queue the Google searches.  Where to stay in Disney, which rides were good for a single parent with two children, which parks to visit. During this time, Claire was obsessed with the Harry Potter books, reading them every chance she had. It didn’t take long in my research to similarly realize that Universal Studios had a Harry Potter world. Another fork.  Take it.

We spent a wonderful first day at the Magic Kingdom, exactly how you remembered it as a child. And experiencing it through the eyes of a seven and nine year old was truly magical (no, I couldn’t think of a better word to describe it).

However I wasn’t prepared for the wizardly magic that enveloped us the following day.  For a seven year old boy well versed in cartoons and superheroes, a nine year old wannabe Hogwarts student, and my penchant for thrill rides and rollercoasters, Universal Studios surpassed any and every expectation. 

When you get divorced, the parenting bucket list doesn’t and shouldn’t go away.  It simply changes shape and takes on a new form. And now that I’m happily remarried, I look forward to the day when our family of five can take a trip to Florida where Harry Potter World will be on the must-visit list for all three kids. Life is full of forks. 

Take them all if you can.

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