Before I begin, let me share with you another one of my shining moments. Yesterday, after stockings, cinnamon rolls and presents we decided to see a movie. Although entertaining, Avatar was just a bit long and left me with a screaming headache. On the way home I asked Bob if he could stop at Maverick so I could get a Diet Coke chaser for my Tylenol. Bob and the girls waited in the car as I went in for my drink. It took several minutes (since they had to change out the syrup), but was worth the wait. I know it's pathetic how excited I can get over a drink. As I came strutting out of the store, thrilled with my one dollar purchase I walked right past my car to the car parked next to it. Both cars were running with people inside....anyway....I walked over to this OTHER car and opened the door - before I realized this was the wrong car! Hello brain...where are you? The people in back had a look of horror and surprise, while the woman in the driver's seat was cracking up and graciously accepted my apology. I then decided to actually get in MY car, and could not stop laughing that I had done that. Bob was also cracking up...the girls, however, seemed to have shrunk about a foot and were just mortified. It still makes me giggle thinking I did that!
On to story #18. A Christmas story. Eight years ago, just as we were officially becoming owners of the gym I came up with this genius idea: Let's surprise the girls and take them to Disneyland for Christmas. Bob had mistakenly heard that it was very slow at Disneyland on Christmas day, so it would be a great time to go. We had been so busy with our acquisition of the gym that I wanted to do something special for the girls for Christmas. I decided that we would pack everything up while they were at school and preschool, pick them up, tell them the surprise and start to drive to California...stopping in St. George or Vegas for the night.
I was excited. I worked my butt off trying to get everything arranged, without letting on about the surprise. Soon it was time to pick up the girls...this was going to be so fun...what child wouldn't love this? As we came home I sat everyone down in the living room and read my clever little poem (yes, very geeky, I know) about our surprise. Although I can't find the poem I know it ended with "We're going to Disneyland for Christmas!" I said this last line with a happy shout and was greeted with total silence. I took this as disbelief, so I told the girls "We're going to Disneyland for Christmas! Isn't that going to be fun? We're going right now, the car's all packed!" Nicole burst into tears. Kristen, seeing her sister's reaction, also began to cry. Bob started to laugh. Ignoring Bob, I asked the girls, "Why are you sad?" Nicole wailed, "I don't want to go to Disneyland! I want to stay home for Christmas! Don't make me go!!!" This sent Bob into an even bigger peal of laughter. "It will be fun...it's Disneyland. We will have such a great time! Think how fun to go to Disneyland on Christmas Day!" Kristen said, "Santa won't know where to find us! Why are you making us do this?"
I was stunned. I had worked so hard on the "great" surprise - and my children felt like they were being punished. I tried to explain that Santa would know where they were and what a great time we would have, but to no avail. I ended up down in my bedroom, crying to my Mom on the phone about how no one wanted to go to Disneyland with me.
Finally, the girls begrudgingly agreed to go to Disneyland for Christmas - and so our happy journey began. The high point of the trip was Christmas day at Disneyland. It turns out that Christmas Day isn't their slowest, but rather their busiest day of the year. The park was acres of wall to wall people. Good Times. It took forever just to get a fast pass for a ride, even the gift shops were too crowded to spend any time in! As evening approached, the air became cooler and I decided I would go to the car to get every one's coats. As I was returning to the park with an armful of coats I realized that I could not remember where I was supposed to meet Bob and the girls. Was it the entrance of Frontierland or Space Mountain? I tried to call Bob...no answer. I went to Frontierland and waited....no sign of them. I ran over to Space Mountain....nothing. I continued to run back and forth between the two places until I felt like I had run a marathon. I knew the girls would be worried - but for the life of me I could not find them. I kept trying Bob until my phone died, but with the noise of the park, Bob could not hear his phone ring. By the time he thought to call me my phone was already dead. Soon I was beginning to feel a bit panicked. I went up to two security people and asked, "What do you do when someone is lost?" "Have you lost your child ma'am?" "Um, no.....I'm lost." They looked at each other and smirked. "Well, when we find a lost child we take them to city hall on main street." "Where's that?" I asked. Again they smirked and said, "We should probably show you the way." They were probably right.
When I arrived at City Hall and went up to the front and asked them woman if a man with two young girls had been in looking for, well, me. She looked confused and shook her head. I explained how I could not remember where we were supposed to meet and did she have any recommendations. She told me that when they had a lost child they had them sit in this back room, full of toys, etc. She said I could wait back there. As I sat down next to the only other occupant, a 3 year old boy, I imagined the following conversation:
Boy: What are you in for?
Me: I lost my family. How 'bout you?
Boy: I kicked Mickey in the shins.
After awhile and many strange looks from the woman watching the boy, I decided to leave and walked out the doors...they couldn't make me stay!...and stepped out onto Main Street and lo and behold, there were Bob and the girls coming to retrieve me from lost and found. I was thrilled. I couldn't stop hugging them. We slipped on our coats and found a good spot to watch the parade and made a family pact that we would not return to Disneyland for many years. We've kept that pact.