Walt DisneyWorld, Blogging and Having an Existential Parenting Crisis

photo 1-5There are two things that are known truths in my life, I love a good blogger conference and I love DisneyWorld so when I discovered Type A Parent was hosting a Blogger BootCamp in WDW during JRB’s spring break it was like a calling from the vacation gods…”book it, book it, book it,” they said.  One of my favorite vacations of my lifetime was when I was 18 and we went to WDW for my Grandparents 50th Wedding anniversary. It was then that I discovered that my true calling was to live in Cinderella’s Castle and although that dream never came to fruition, going to WDW with JRB for 5 days was a close second. The trip on the whole was blissful. Disneyworld is just as amazing as I remembered. We stayed at the photo 4-5Boardwalk Hotel , which is a charming hotel on the Epcot grounds. It has an Early 20th century vibe as a seaside hotel on a boardwalk that was lined with quaint restaurants, bakeries and stores. At night, carnival games, street performers  and Disney-approved venders set up shop, adding an authentic vibrancy to the Seaside experience.  The hotel is a five minute walk or boat ride to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios and as photo-110JRB will attest there were plenty of places to walk and ride bikes. In fact, one thing I discovered during this trip is that bike riding is really good for JRB. I think it makes his body feel good to be in constant motion, using his arms and legs to move the bike. It’s also quite zen as he has to remain focused yet still has time to look around and enjoy the scenery. For JRB, bike riding was also a good Ying to the Yang of DisneyWorld which is visually rich and incredibly stimulating.  By the time the Type A conference rolled around we were ready to “get the party started”. Jackson was armed with his “Sherman” business cards, briefcase and camera. And I was ready to learn and be inspired by powerhouse women who were leaders in the world of blogging, website development and labels! (Yep, Julie Cole for Mabel’s Labels was our Opening Keynote). And then came lunch and I made the fatal flow of peeking into the Kid Con room and making eye contact with JRB. Here’s the thing about JRB, he’s a love it or leave it kind of guy, with him ~ there  is rarely a middle ground.

For some reason, JRB just didn’t connect to the other kids in the program. I knew this when he saw me and begged me to “bust him loose, ” which is ironic because the kids in the program were great, the program was great and judging from the faces of the other children and the comments I have since heard from the parents ~ Kid Con was great, just not for JRB. I heard my Grandmother’s voice in my ear, she was the one who told me I indulged JRB too much, I needed to let him be more self reliant, to learn how to cope and build endurance.  Growing up we went to Vail for every vacation (my Grandparents lived there) and we went to Ski School everyday, no questions asked. We didn’t get to skip ski school or leave early, we just went. And I hated it. So when I came to the crossroads of keeping JRB in a program he didn’t like for the next 3 hours or letting him bolt ~ I took the road most easily traveled. My kids was a Kid-Con dropout. Although in my mind the “right thing” would have been to make him stick it out for the next few hours, learn how to cope and deal and accept things that might be shades of gray, this momma caved and pulled him and then I spent the next 4 hours fretting over my decision.

photo 1-6Did I do the right thing?  What would you do? On one hand it was vacation,  it was our last day, he was going to be spending the following weekend with his dad,  and we were in DISNEYWORLD my favorite place place bar none. If I pulled him out, we’d have more together time, more time to make memories, to take one last bike ride, one last dip in the pool, one last trip down the boardwalk…. But did I do him a disservice? Did I teach him that it’s okay to quit, to not stick things out, to walk away when the going gets tough. Maybe, but then again maybe not. I’m not sure.

All I know is I went to Walt DisneyWorld, had an existential parenting crisis and didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt. But I did get this picture… Somewhere my Grandmother is shaking her head. Happy April everyone!