Letting Out Your Inner Child

Mickey and Minnie

I saw something yesterday that totally melted my heart. Daughter #1 is at Disney World with her family and her brother-in-law’s family. She was standing with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There’s a long story why this was so touching for me.

I was a single mom with #1 by the time she was two years old. It was not easy. We lived in HUD housing. We got WIC and food stamps. There were roaches and the people downstairs abused their kids. I looked in the open door one day when I walked by and my neighbor yelled at me to keep moving or she’d “come up behind me and slit my $&@?ing throat!” It was NOT a healthy scenario and if I had been any brighter or bolder, I would have packed up my stuff and hightailed it back to West Virginia. But that wasn’t what I wanted for my little girl. I wanted her to have every opportunity that I didn’t have growing up and I knew if I worked hard enough, I’d get her out of there. We would have a good life.

And things did get better. I got a really good job. I found a roommate, I lived frugally. I got good daycare. She was never wanting for the basics, but there wasn’t much extra. Just lots of love. Then, we met Hubby #2. He was applying to medical school. We worked really hard. He was a good daddy and a great provider…even though it was many years before we started making any money.

We moved to a small town when my ex finished residency and joined a practice. We were thrilled to be in the mountains and a lovely community. Daughter #1 was going into 7th grade…a tough age to make such a big move. The kids at school only knew her as the “new doctor’s daughter”. There was a group of kids out on the lawn one day, talking about how hard it was to not have money for nice things. My daughter spoke up and said she totally understood that. The kids scoffed and she told them, her dad wasn’t BORN a doctor. There were many nights we ate a box of generic mac & cheese and a tomato out of the yard. She had a genuine appreciation for where she came from and she gained the respect of all the kids.

Still, we didn’t really start making a decent living till she was nearly finished with high school. Then we had her little sister. My girls are nearly sixteen years apart. It was a different world raising the two of them. The level of affluence was drastically different and the little one definitely made out when it came to vacations. My younger one was only two or three the first time we took her to Disney World. By then, her older sister was in college. I never did get to take my oldest to see Mickey and Minnie…something she never, ever let me forget, even though she understood why.

She’s been to Disneyland a couple of times with my son-in-law’s family. But never Disney World. Not till this week. I’ve been going on her Facebook page several times a day to see the pictures she posts. Yesterday…there she was. Beaming. Standing between Mickey and Minnie, grinning from ear to ear. The post simply read, “Six-year-old me is happy.” It made me smile. It warmed my heart. She is showing her children a good time. She is sharing her joy with them. She’s such a good mom and I’m so proud of her. I’m proud of both of my daughters. And…I’m happy they know how to let their inner child out to play. ❤️

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬


4 thoughts on “Letting Out Your Inner Child

  1. Lovely story of buckle down and do right.

    My dad never bought into the new DisneyLand park in LA, even though it was a favorite Sunday show for my youngest brother and me. Neighborhood kids would drive all day with their folks to LA on two lane highways to get there, but not us. Instead we went camping in the ‘wilds’ of Big Sur. Close enough to the coast so Daddy could occasionally fish, but with evening Ranger led-campfires, trails and creeks and wild trout and secret swimming holes for us kids. We loved it! Mom caught up on her reading and suntan.

    Later the folks bought a ski boat and we camped out for 3 weeks each June in a boat only-access campground at Shasta Lake in Northern California’s rugged Siskiyou Mountains. We got experiences other kids could only read about. My brothers’ first chore after unloading the boat and helping dad set up the tent was to scavenge the near cove shores for logs and drifting lumber torn loose from docks by winter storms. With hand tools they always built magnificent docks for us to tie up to. Mom and I designed our campsite around the provided sturdy table and cooking grate. We rustled meals from the ice chest and canned goods and staple like potatoes and eggs. Every week we made the day-long trip ‘to town’ to stock up on fresh meats and veggies. It was heaven and we were fortunate enough to realize how lucky we were, and what sacrifices our folks made to ensure we understood the strength and fragility of our natural world.

    Dreams come in different packages, and as parents, its part of the job to make teachable moments no matter what the experience. My wish is for all to have magical outside-the box-experiences, no matter the age or tax bracket. It can be done.

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