Windy the Pooh

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I’m not sure when my kids started having opinions. But whenever that was, I didn’t deal with it well.

I noticed it, clearly, at Disney World over Pesach. We had taken the kids there five years ago and I had made lists to my heart delight. I had a list for which groceries to buy, which meals to prepare, which rides to go on and everyone sort of complied. They just listened. It was all good. (My Type A personality was very very happy.)

This year, we rejoiced at our good fortune to hit Disney with no stroller, no diaper bag, no juggling bottles, feeding and nap times.  We were with big kids. Nothing could stop us! Nothing except…our children, who suddenly had independent thought. Why go on Peter Pan if they could go on Speedway? Maybe Winnie the Pooh (which Dov still adorably calls Windy the Pooh) wasn’t all the rage anymore? We lasted until Dumbo when the kids revolted. I gave it a good fight but couldn’t hold on. Yoni and I both had the app that showed up the waiting times at each ride and suddenly everyone wanted the bigger, the scarier the more intense rides.

As if I needed one more lesson to underscore the point, Yael and I ducked into the Bibbity Bobbity Boo salon to watch all these adorable little girls get glamorized. As we were checking it out one of the princess hairstylists asked Yael, “Are you here with a little princess?” Yael, in her always awesomeness, answered, “I am the little princess.” Needless to say we got kicked out.

And that was it. As I try to integrate this new feeling into the reality of our family dynamic, Yom HaZikaron creeps up on us. Each year, we’re in our house, with our kids in the middle of putting them to sleep as the siren goes off. This year the four older kids (!) are going to be at a special tekes at the Alon HaBoded outside our yishuv. There they will sing together, listen to a speech or two and experience the siren together, without us, without our guidance and our words. And while I know that that’s how it should be, I can’t help feeling that this is one more step closer to them growing up, moving on, choosing not to ride the Dumbo Ears.

So tonight, in an hour, I’ll hug Dov, who is young enough to ride the Windy the Pooh ride happily with me, and hope that my kids are doing just fine, having their own experience.

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