My son celebrated his sixth birthday in February and the only thing everyone was waiting around for was to see what my uncle would get him for his birthday. This may mean absolutely nothing to you but to those that know him know that he loves my son and pretty much gives him WHATEVER HE WANTS. He picks him up from school and stuffs him with a small cheese pizza from his favorite restaurant, strawberry frosted donuts with sprinkles and always buys him two toys. He bought him a Jeep for his third or fourth birthday. He plans field trips for the entire family based on where my son wants to go (I mean, what introvert mom really wants to take a day off of work to walk around a hot zoo in the Bronx surrounded by thousands of people with their children? Not me). My son is spoiled and I completely blame my uncle. Anyway, my son’s birthday fell on a Friday and I had taken the day off to be a mystery reader in his class (total surprise to him). The only thing he wanted for his birthday was pizza (insert emoji shocked face) and cake. I threw in the extra surprise of having my uncle pick him up from school (he cried when he had to get out of the car which wasn’t apart of the plan). After calming him down, we were finally able to enjoy the rest of his birthday until he dropped a bomb on us.
Him: GUESS WHAT?! I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!
Me: *fake surprised* Really?!?!?! Who told you that you were going to Disney World?
Him: UNCLE IKE!! AND WE HAVE A HOUSE…It has lots of bedrooms and bathrooms and a pool!! I’m so excited!
Me: *glances at my mom* What house?!
This is where it gets interesting. We have talked about a family vacation to Disney World for years. The last family vacation was in 2012 which I wasn’t able to go on because I had just gotten back from maternity leave. The whole purpose of that vacation was to celebrate my birthday there with my family. Imagine being in Connecticut with your newborn while your entire family is celebrating your birthday in Florida. It really sucked. Anyway, we knew that my uncle was taking Tyler to Disney for his birthday so the fact that he got a house down there was a shocker. Who needs a house for a few people?
Him: THE HOUSE, MOM!! You have to see it…he showed me pictures.
Me: Oh really? And who will be staying in this house?
Him: all of us.
This is where my excitement and anxiety kick in all at once. I was not prepared for that. I actually took the week off during his Spring Break with the intention of staying home while he enjoyed Florida because that’s what introverts do. But I know how my uncle operates and he’s very much family oriented. If he rented a house then that meant that he expected that the FAMILY went on vacation. So, that Sunday we all talked about it and his only comment was this: “I rented a house and it’s big enough for eleven people. If you’re going on vacation, you better get your shit together and buy your plane ticket.” He had spoken. That was that. There was no “IF” – that means you’re going but he aint paying for you to get there.
I spent the next few weeks seriously contemplating whether I should be going on this trip. It’s my son’s first trip to Disney and his first time on an airplane. I absolutely wanted to experience that with him but I also didn’t want to experience that with him (sorry, does that sound bad?). I just remember the last time I went to Disney as a teenager and how exhausting that was for me. We went to every park and spent the entire day there and not to mention I got lost walking behind this parade in Magic Kingdom and sat in front of Cinderella’s Castle crying and waiting for my family to find me. It was hot as hell and way too many people. How was I going to cope with this? How in the hell was I going to manage my anxiety on this trip? How would I carve out some time for myself? I went back and forth about this and finally decided that I was going and the one way I made sure I was going was getting online and buying the ticket because once you buy the ticket you gotta go. I found a flight, clicked that button and signed my peace away. I was committed. Introvert me was going to Disney (insert crying emoji).