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Posts Tagged ‘Disneyland’

Thanksgiving in 1992 was a turning point for my family.

On the fifteenth, just eleven days before Thanksgiving, my husband of many years walked out the door saying he needed time and space to himself so he could figure out if he still wanted to be married to me. For Thanksgiving, we still weren’t sure what was going on, or at least the three kids and I weren’t sure. I had not told my family that he had left. I learned before I even married that I should keep any problems with my husband from my family or they would be very harsh on him. So I didn’t tell them. His family didn’t know either. I felt it was his place to tell them and he didn’t want to tell them. That left the kids and I with nothing to do for Thanksgiving. I wanted it to be a special day for the kids and I was still very much numb. So I did the only thing I could think of. I took the kids to Disneyland.

I reserved the Disneyland Hotel for Thanksgiving night and the kids and I drove to Anaheim late Thanksgiving morning. We checked into the hotel then went to the theme park. We had not gotten to make our reservations for Thanksgiving dinner in one of the restaurants and they were full so we decided on a Thanksgiving buffet with the Disney characters visiting the tables. No reservation required for that but because we were hotel guests, we got to cut ahead of the line when we got there. So we stayed in the theme park for a while and when it was time for dinner, we headed for the buffet outside the park, next to the hotel.

The kids loved it. They got to pick what they wanted from the buffet and leave the rest behind. The wait staff was incredibly friendly. We were alone but we weren’t. There were lots of people around and everyone one was in a great mood. Strangers helped me get the kids’ plates filled and carried back to our table. Then during dinner the characters came around to the tables. My eight year old was crazy about Tigger and was delighted when he came to our table and my two year old was all over Minnie Mouse! My son was eleven then and he was the best helper I could ever wish for. He helped with his sisters and he helped get me through the day. He could intuit Mom’s sadness as well as my need to make things as special for them as possible.

After dinner it was a walk around the grounds and then back to the rides in the theme park. We watched the last parade of the evening then headed for the hotel. The kids watched Disney movies for free on the hotel TV and later on we ordered a late night room service snack. The kids thought it was very special to order hot chocolate and cookies from room service.

The three kids had a blast and I got the satisfaction of knowing that at least on that day, my kids were happy. That year, the first one the three kids and I spent alone together, I was most thankful for being able to keep my kids from the harsh realities that were about to hit our family.

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