As I was growing up I had two best friends. We were poor, my two friends were not. I was from Oklahoma, my friends were from California. They would travel down to California every summer to visits family. While they were there they would go to Disneyland, Universal and other attractions. Oh how I dreamed of going to Disneyland. My heart ached to go Disneyland. In 1982 I was able to go to California with my high school singing group (Pony Pipers for those of you who live in my area). We went to Dland. It was fantastic but there was a void. Something missing...it was my family, my mom. I wanted so much to share it with her. I made a promise to myself, when I had kids I would take them to Disneyland. I would make it happen.
All the years in my first marriage there were times we had the money but my husband did not have that dream or desire....to him it was a "waste" of time and money so it was put on the back burner. I was never able to take my step kids.
In 2000 (I was then a single mother of 4) a precious and dear friend of mine went to be with the Lord. To make a long beautiful story short, she left me a small amount of money. I was stunned!!!! It was the oddest feeling. You could not feel happy about being blessed with that money because the reason you had received it was because of the loss of a loved one. What to do with the money was on my mind day and night. I wanted to be a great steward. I wanted to honor my friend. So, I paid some debts, placed some in a CD, and then I bought tickets to Disneyland for my two oldest kids, my niece, and for myself. I didn't have enough for the two little ones and they were so small I wanted to take them when they were older. So I promised them I would take them when they got older. My girl S never forgot and we have been saving ever since. Pennies here...dollars there. They have been so good at putting money in the piggy bank. It has taken us 8 years to save enough. We only have enough for the two girls and I to go...as the dream would get closer, hotel and airfare got higher...the dream kept getting farther and farther away. Then last year my husband and I decided it would be best for him and A to stay home and for the girls and I to go ahead and go, so I am going with my husbands blessings. He has a weeks vacation and he will be home caring for our son, the foster kids, and the monster dogs while I am gone. What a sacrifice on his part.
My mind is a coaster of emotions. So excited to finally have this dream coming true yet torn that I am leaving part of my family behind and I worry about the foster kids being hurt over it and I feel guilty spending that money on something so frivolous when times are so tough. I am not trying to be cold but I am trying to survive this, so what I am doing is focusing on the fun I am going to have with my two girls. They have had to keep it a secret because of the foster kids and I told them just yesterday, no more secrets. We have to be open about it. The girls should be able to share about it and enjoy the excitement of looking forward to it and the smaller kids need to know the truth. Plus this way they can tell us what they want us to buy them.
Because I was a single mom for 7 1/2 years I couldn't afford much for my kids. We ALWAYS had our basic needs met (Thank you Lord) but extra's just didn't happen. My girls also have never had a dad (a story for a different blog). My husband is raising them as his own so he wants to bless them with this trip.
This is a major trip for us. The only state my girls have been to is Washington (which consists of jumping in the van and driving over the bridge). We have never traveled. Not only have they not been to Disneyland, they have never flown on a plane. I am so excited for them. We plan to have Lot's of fun. We plan to laugh and play and sing and swim and sleep and enjoy each other. They are tweens, the next few years will be tough so I am going to enjoy this moment in time when they can still be my princesses. We are even booked to attend a princess dinner. We have hair glitter, plastic tiara's, and used dresses to dress them up in. We are going to live a few days of imagination and enchantment. A few days from reality!
So, my girls and I leave Oct 19th. They are both packed already. This will be a great time of togetherness and it will be the end of a lifelong (just about) dream. When we return I will be able to say I have taken my kids to Disneyland...dream fulfilled. The grandkids and great grandkids are on their own. I have had to carry this dream for so long already! They can take me...I am sure I can get around with a walker or in an electric scooter.
My next dream vacation??? Hawaii.....yep....me and my hubby! Give me...say, ten years, and I should have enough for that trip!!!