A while back there was an episode on the Parenthood (Season 2, Episode 18 "Qualities and Difficulties"). Adam - in an attempt to create a father/son memory - takes his son Max out of school so they can spend the day at an amusement park. I remember crying during this episode because I knew exactly what Adam meant.
I want The Boy to grow up and be able to have happy memories of his childhood. Not memories of therapists, appointments and labels. Which is why this trip meant so much to me. It's the reason I cried when I got off the plane, when I entered Walt Disney World and when I left. (Yeah, a lot of happy tears during our trip.) And because while on vacation, I saw another side of The Boy. The Boy that I had spent the last three years waiting to see. There really is magic at The Magic Kingdom.
As a child, Walt Disney World was always a place I wanted to go. But we never went - it was way too expense a vacation for a family on a single income. To be able to do this for The Boy gave me an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude.
The Boy may very well grow up and not remember a thing about his first trip to Walt Disney World. (Though with his memory, I doubt it.) But I'll remember it. Always. And I can say, without a doubt, that it won't be our last trip.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.