@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
My mom told me a tale she heard that I can not concern for sure is fact or fiction, but it’s tale applauded by parents, praised as genius.
Apparently, there’s this family that is driving down to Florida to go to Disney World and they know for sure their kids are going to fight with each other and be annoying. So, they actually told the kids their trip was two weeks sooner than when they actually booked the trip. And they threatened the kids, “if you fight, we’re turning around.” Well, they knew their kids well, and shortly into the dive, the kids started fighting. As promised they turned the car around, while the kids screamed with heartbreak in the back seat. But, they told the kids, we’ll go in 2 weeks (which was the actual plan all along) if they are good. So, two weeks later they do their trek down to Orlando and the kids, knowing their parents word was true, behaved perfectly.
My mom thought that was the greatest idea she ever heard.
During our Disney trips in my youth, we usually drove down, needing to save every dollar we could. As per usual, I behaved like the golden child I was, repremanding my siblings when they fought, “geez, guys, we’re going to Disney can you stop acting like children for 18 straight hours on this drive?” I didn’t really understand that I was actually the weird one out of the three of us and Mitch and Lisa behaved like most normal siblings. Mitch, often purposely, would irk Lisa who was easily triggered. Followed by endless, “are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET?”
Of course, back then, we didn’t have iPads or the many amenities kids enjoy today to entertain them on such trips. On one of our later trips, my dad did install this tiny TV with a VHS player in it that was our “kitchen TV” in the van and we played some movies on the way down. By the time I was in middle school, I had my own walkman which was one of my favorite possessions ever. Man, did I love that walkman. Obsessed with music, I brought some of my CD collection and some of my Mom’s 80s new wave CD’s and could tune out my siblings who, by annoying each other, would bother me.
But mostly, we were well behaved kids. Our Florida trips started with visiting my grandparents, my Mom’s parents, who lived in a white trash trailer home that we never really looked forward to because there was nothing to do, our Pop-pop was intimidating and lacked any warmth and their property was covered in giant fire ant holes which was the only thing I was afraid of more than my Pop-pop besides maybe the possibility of alligators in the stream at the back of their property.
That was part of the deal though. To visit grandma and Pop-pop before Disney. My parents knew we didn’t particularly enjoy it, and frankly, they didn’t really look forward to it either. It was just a couple more days before the trip I looked forward to for 3 years (we went to Disney every three years until we were teenagers when my siblings were too cool for the parks. I never outgrew amusement parks).
The anticipation leading up the trip was a hurricane Ian sized whirlwind of emotion inside me. For I wanted to disappear in Disney World and never grow up. To this day, some of my fondest memories are our family park vacations, that remain some of the more vivid memories, helped by both the extreme sense of joy experienced and the evidence of our giant smiling faces live both on film and in pictures. I’d have dreams for weeks before and after. I remember leaving Disney on the last seat and sitting on the bench in the rear of our van, looking over the top of the seat and crying quietly to myself (I didn’t want my parents to see my crying at risk of them accusing me of whining and I didn’t want my siblings to see me cry because they would mock me mercilessly).
Now, it’s many years later, over a decade, and feel the same emotions preparing for a long anticipated return. It’s a lot of us. Me, my sister (who long ago outgrew being too cool for Disney and now half her house is decorated with Disney stuff), her family/kids, our folks, my cousin, her family/young kids, her parents (Aunt/Uncle) and then another one of my Aunts will be meeting us too. It will be chaos, in the best possible way chaos can be. Drenched with fun, dancing in the streets, screaming with rapture on rides.
I can barely wait. I can barely sleep. What magic wonder it is to feel just like a kid again. Despite the hefty price tag on the trip (it’s so expensive it’s crazy), I couldn’t help but ask myself, “what else am I saving my money for?” To see my nephew and nieces faces light up as their minds will be perpetually blown and their hearts filled with everlasting family memories… well you can’t put a price on that. Well, actually you can and Disney literally did. That’s besides the point.
Sure, it may be juvenile and silly, but when I watch a firework show at Disney World, I will still wish upon a star. But what will there be to wish for, since the trip itself is a dream come true.