It is a testament to the magic of Disney that even in a week when 5 of 7 family members come down with a stomach bug too gross to describe, when the worst undescribed bodily functions associated with such illness take place between midnight and 3am every night, when one gets stung by a jelly fish, when another cuts 4 teeth and sleeps very little, when 12 loads of laundry are done while on vacation--it is a testament that everyone is still glad we got to go.
A decade ago, I probably would have counted this vacation a disaster. Lots of kids have a way of beating expectations out of you. Now I know that with the exception of the jelly fish sting--uncommon in IL--all those same things would have added up to just another fairly typical week here. Sitting in Animal Kingdom Lodge, watching giraffes and zebras and watusi cattle and ostrich, provides a much more pleasant back drop for the unpleasantries of life.
If one can't be prepared oneself, best to send kids to the beach with someone who is. My sister, obsessed with every disaster which can befall common mortals, would never consider going to the beach without meat tenderizer. Our stung son was only in pain for moments before the tenderizer worked its magic. I'm sure he was far less traumatized than had he gone with his own family as we would not have had such foresight and would all have had to pee on him to remove the stinging pain (wasn't there a Friends episode about that?).
I don't know if my sister noticed the faraway look in my eyes as she waxed eloquent about her extensive jellyfish sting research, the need for updated tetanus, the possibility of infection, the antibiotics needed if instead of a common jelly the bite was from a Man O' War. It's not that such knowledge isn't useful, it's more that I just don't have time or patience for it. Each day brings enough actual disaster, however minor, of its own without me having to conjure even worse ones. Let's hope for the best and move on. Not a bad life motto.
Some family memories are etched in the best of happy times and some in shared mishaps that grow funny as time passes. This week provided both for our family. We returned home to learn that a well-liked pastor from our old church, out on a bike ride, had been killed by a hit and run driver. There is nothing like the sudden, too soon, earthly finality of death to order one's world anew. Every moment is precious--even those filled with puke, crying and stings.