Last week, while at conference in Orlando, I observed families joyfully journeying to the land of magic – where dreams come true. In 1993, Tim and I took Katie, Bethy, and Brendan to Disney World. I was seven months pregnant with Brigid, and we opted to go because the children were at such easy ages. At age six, Katie was a trooper, walking all day along side the strollers where Bethy, age five, and Brendan, nearly three, relaxed and wondrously took in the sights. Echoes of “It’s a Small World” and sensations of swooping through the Peter Pan ride permeate my thoughts when I recall that trip. In each shop, Katie marveled at the long, translucent tubes of the Tinker Bell wands as they sparkled on the displays. She’d finger the purple, pink and silver ribbons, smile, and quietly ask if she could have a wand. Ever practical, often overly frugal and envisioning a crushed $25.00 trinket in the suitcase, I repeatedly said, “No.”
Ten years later, we returned to Disney World with all five kids, and I remembered Katie’s request. I asked her about it, and at sixteen, she tilted her head, smiled and sweetly replied, “I just thought you didn’t want me to fly.”
I did buy Katie one of Tinker Bell’s magical treasures that day, but when I gave it to her, I realized it was too late. The magic was gone.
Now I know why grandparents are so grateful. They get another chance.