I wasn’t expecting this.It’s been nearly a week since we got home from Disney World, and I am still trying to process the emotions that bubbled up during those four magical days (as well as get caught up on laundry and put my house back together). I expected the typical emotions that so often accompany an occasion that should be filled with joy. I knew that even at the happiest place on earth, I would be sad.
Not Eeyore sad.
Just not head over heels happy.
I’ve come to realize that even on the sunniest of days, it’s going to be a bit cloudy in my heart.
So that’s why the feels I was feeling throughout our trip have me a bit perplexed. Yes, I felt that all-too familiar tug as we entered the park that first day. But on the last day of our trip I was overcome with emotion. Ugly cry emotion.
And here’s why (well, my theory anyway):
I spend a great deal of time and energy holding onto my Addie memories. I play them over and over and over again as a way to keep her here. Present. Somehow within reach. I can’t bear the thought of forgetting one single thing about her, so I replay the conversations, the moments (and not just the big ones). Instead, I get lost in the everyday. The way she’d pull her hair up in a ponytail and smoothe out all the bumps. The way her hands would cup the sugar canister as she walked toward the cereal bowl waiting for her on the kitchen table. The way she’d sit on the edge of our living room chair, waiting for the bus to pull up to our house and take her to school. I can’t let one single moment escape me. And so, I spend so much time keeping those memories safe and secure that I have little room for anything else.
As we got lost in the magic of Magic Kingdom, I realized that there were memories to be made here too. In fact, we were making them. And that I wanted to hold onto those memories just as tightly.
Because I realized that these tender moments are just as fleeting.
Life is fleeting.
We may return to Disney someday. We may not. But I know it won't be the same. We will never experience what we did this past week.
A return trip doesn’t promise that my littlest girl will be smitten with princesses. That one of my boys will ask me to hold him tight. That another will reach for my hand. And hold it.
You only get that once.