I *might* be willing to admit that there is a teeny, tiny chance that I occasionally exhibit anxious behaviors. For the most part I think I’m a completely rational, grounded person. I mean, everyone takes a life jacket as a carry on when flying with an infant, right?
So when I say something like “my biggest fear” it’s a slightly relative statement. But here goes…stomach bug on vacation. Legit fear, right? I’ll do you one better…your spouse gets a stomach bug on vacation in the middle of the night when you are sharing a 1-bathroom hotel room and have already purchased your tickets to Disney for the following day. Your 5-year old is aware of said plans, thus eliminating any chance of canceling your plans. Any possibility of extending your trip by a day or two is dashed when you realize Christmas Day is 3 days away and Santa presents were left at home. Did I mention there’s also a 10-month old involved?
Around 2AM I made a desperate call to the front desk of our hotel asking if there was another room available and then I proceeded to beg for a staff member to assist me in moving 2 sleeping children, a pack n’ play, “lovies”, toiletries and an armful of random stuff to our new room. And they said YES!
When my alarm went off a few hours later I wanted to turn it off, curl up in a ball and cry. There was absolutely no way I could take a 5-year old and a 10-month old to The Magic Kingdom for an entire day by myself. The thought was insane, but as I looked at the hopeful expression on my daughter’s face I knew what I needed to do.
Boarding the bus at our hotel that would take us to Disney just about broke me. It was a logistical nightmare. I needed to take everything out from under our stroller, hold it in my arms, remove my baby from the stroller, fold up the stroller while holding the stuff and baby, and finally assist my 5-year old up the massive bus steps while carrying our stuff, the baby and the stroller. I don’t cry often, but I’m pretty sure I shed a tear as the bus rolled away from the hotel.
Knowing I HAD to do this for my kids, I took a deep breath and said a prayer. And something amazing happened- another passenger pointed out that I had my hands full (uh, yeah!) and they offered to help me off the bus when we arrived at Disney. It was such a blessing in that moment and I somehow knew that if we could just make it off the bus and through the gates of Disney that everything would be okay.
For the next 12 hours I was shown more kindness than I ever knew existed. My kids and I were served by countless individuals- from a million offers to take a family picture, to offers of holding my baby while I went to the bathroom. I never once had to ask for help, people were just there and ready to assist. I must have looked like the most ragged, desperate mother that day, but all that mattered to me was giving my kids an amazing day at the Magic Kingdom.
Aside from the fact that my husband spent the day in the hotel room, sick as can be, it was a truly amazing day that I will never forget (for more than 1 reason!)
What is your biggest traveling fear? Have you ever experienced “the worst” on a family vacation? How did it work out?