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Lessons from Disneyland help to 'bring magic' home
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland - photo by Erin Stewart
My family and I just returned from a trip to Disneyland, a magical place where time stands still and hot dogs cost $10. Yes, its a childs paradise of princesses, rides and indulgence that pulls children and parents alike into the magical mayhem.

During our four days together at the most magical place on earth, I learned a few lasting lessons.

1. There are some super important people at Disneyland. This is the only explanation I have for how many Disneygoers acted as they cut in line for rides, pushed their way to the front of parade routes and generally assumed their children were the most important people at Magic Kingdom. My kids may not have had princess glitter in their freshly done hair or a $20 balloon in their hand, but theyre kind of important in my world. So dont give my kid an elbow to the face as you rush past the rope drop in the morning. Walt wouldnt have wanted it that way, and I hope my children dont grow up that way either.

2. I am old. Have the teacups always spun so fast? And has the Indiana Jones ride always been so jerky? The fact is, Im getting older, which means I got dizzy on rides that were nothing before, and I couldnt even attempt some of the bigger coasters. Of course, I used my youngest daughter as the excuse for why I had to sit out on a few; Im not about to admit to my older daughter that mommy is becoming a huge wuss as she gets older. And my husband vowed he would never speak again of my complete claustrophobic panic attack on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. (In my defense, it really feels like the ship is underwater even though it never actually submerges. OK, there is no excuse I am a wuss.)

3. I actually enjoy my children. This may seem somewhat obvious, but its nice to be reminded every once in a while that I love spending time with my kids. When there are no work deadlines, no chauffeuring to activities and no meals to make, its amazing how much fun I can have just playing and being with my kids.

So as we return to normal life, where the aroma of churros doesnt fill the air and the most critical decision isnt which FastPass to get next, Im having a little Disney withdrawal. Lets face it the place is magical.

For me, the most magical part of this trip was taking four days to just be with my kids, making memories as a family and worrying about nothing but enjoying our time together. Even just standing in line together without checking our cellphones became a game as we played together and talked.

So while the vacation is over for now, Im hoping to bring a little Disney magic into my daily life. We may not have princesses around every corner or fireworks every night, but we do have each other. And if theres one thing Im taking from this trip, its that time together can be magical no matter where you are.
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