Sunday, October 26, 2008

letting my conscience be my guide

I'd arranged awhile back to take M on a date of sorts to one of those godawful skating Disney nightmares on ice. As the day approached the excitement increased and yesterday we found ourselves sitting in an enormous stadium surrounded by commercialism and hyped up children. I was doing this because I knew she's love it, so I decided to suspend my disbelief for a few hours, contentedly settling into my seat with M to one side.

Immediately it was chaos. The family behind us purchased some of those freakish plastic Mickey heads filled with some sort of purple liquid. Within a few moments the kids dropped them and as is commonly known, shit runs downhill. We now have a puddle of goo at our feet. Sweet.

That didn't stop the hawkers preying on young impressionable minds with their rotating glowing things and plastic weaponry. They'd approach even as I glare at them impervious to my intimidating chill. Dude, shoo, I say as M's eyes light up and again I say Dude, shoo and he'd look at me askance and wander off. Take that Disney.

The show finally starts and it's typical at best. Princesses are being duly saved by Princes and the softly played evil attempts to transcend over good without success. My eyes are rolling back in my head saved only by intently focusing on my child's face, her eyes are beautiful and her hand clasps mine tightly. She crawls in my lap as we share a tiny chair. In profile she's stunning and I get to stare at her for longer than usual because she's sitting so still.

Just as I'm starting to wonder if they sell beer at this thing the scene shifts into a different riff, my childhood is brought front and center with dozens of skaters come out representing the world. They clasp hands and glide in circles, their voices clear:



it's a world of laughter, a world of tears
its a world of hopes,
its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
that its time we're aware
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world
There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small small world

And my eyes well up with tears and I sing silently along. Amidst all the commercialism and the ridiculousness, it's still this. From those of you in England whose exchange rate with ours means even more money for the jungle, to folks I've never met who so graciously and quickly agreed to help people they do not know. It's this. It is a small world after all.

After the show we walk out into the light. M's still holding my hand and she looks up at me thank you mama, thank you and her smile is wide. We get past the last of the stands selling stupid shit and I notice her eyes grab hold. I clasp tighter as we walk past and she says see Mama, I didn't ask you to buy anything because I didn't need it even though it looks really good and I feel the tears in my eyes again and I pick her up and hug her tight and realize this wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Thank you again for your incredible generosity in helping my friends who have been affected by flooding in Central America. Because of you, a water pressure pump, water, food and medicine have all been purchased for folks who are in desperate need. If you still want to help, please email me at girlplustwo(at)yahooDOTcom. My friends in the Village are so thankful to you.

Update: We are now up to $800.00. You are my heroes. Thank you.

Update #2: We are now up to $890.00. You can't see me but I'm dancing. Thank you. Thank you all for spreading the word and for sharing your precious dollars.
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23 comments:

QT said...

I'm glad you had that time with your girl. And so happy that help is making its way to the village.

meno said...

Oh the things we do for love.

Deezee said...

M's simple appreciation completely choked me up. :)

mitzh said...

M made me cry...

Oh, The Joys said...

You know, this is good to read. I try to avoid all the commercialism --- but you've made me remember that I loved Disney when I was little. I can still sing When You Wish Upon A Star. I believed. I've been wishing on stars ever since. New perspective. Thanks for that, my beautiful friend.

xo,
OTJ

Omaha Mama said...

I rode It's a Small World at Disney Land when I was five. I still get choked up when I hear that song. We saw a different version of the Disney on Ice. It was Disneyland Adventure. I loved every minute of it, except maybe for the $6 cotton candy. It was tasty but dang! Really? As if Disney is hard up and needs to profit from the snacks.
I digress.
I heart Disney, always have. Commerical or no.

Amy Y said...

I'm a sucker for that Disney shit... even though I know I shouldn't be. I want to take my boys to Disney World so bad i can almost taste the stale popcorn and sticky ice cream cones. We've done a few Disney on Ice shows and my boys love them... And if I were to be completely honest, with the exception of the peddlers with their overpriced, made in China wares, it takes me back to when my mom took me to such shows as a child... and I am a little girl all over again ~ wide eyed and awe struck.
I'm glad you took her. :)

Amy Y said...

I'm a sucker for that Disney shit... even though I know I shouldn't be. I want to take my boys to Disney World so bad i can almost taste the stale popcorn and sticky ice cream cones. We've done a few Disney on Ice shows and my boys love them... And if I were to be completely honest, with the exception of the peddlers with their overpriced, made in China wares, it takes me back to when my mom took me to such shows as a child... and I am a little girl all over again ~ wide eyed and awe struck.
I'm glad you took her. :)

Jennifer said...

You keep making me cry, damn you.

carrie said...

That one gets me every damn time too . . . it really is a small, small world, friend.

ps - my favorite memory of the princesses on ice from last year was Katie, all gussied up - dancing in the bubbles in the front row, not the disneyess of the whole thing, but that image, of my little girl ... content and happy and dancing the night away. I'll never forget it.

Magpie said...

A small world indeed.

And what a wise little girl you've got there...

Magpie said...

And now I'm singing that song. Gah!

painted maypole said...

so sweet. and you are teaching that beautiful M some wonderful, wonderful lessons.

it's a small world, indeed

TZT said...

Beautiful, beautiful. What a precious, wise girl.

I see all the waving, spinning figures from around the world in my mind when I think of that song, and its moral, as resonant in my house as the Golden Rule.

Beck said...

That sounds like a beautiful evening - and really, I think those simple stories of good always beating evil are necessary for children's moral development.
My minister has been busy but we're supposed to talk tomorrow. I'll see if anything happens.

mamatulip said...

EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS?

that is awesome!

Defiantmuse said...

you know, it's funny b/c as anti-Disney as I am now I was a huge Disney kid. Like....I could not even begin to describe how into Disney I was. And every single year on our road trip to visit family in L.A. I went to Disneyland. And "it's a Small World" was my favorite ride. I would go on it several times in a row, as many as I could talk my folks in to. Whenever I get up on my high horse and begin railing against Disney and commercialism and the unreal expectations of fairy tales, my mother reminds me of this. (sigh)

M saying "I didn't ask you to buy anything because I didn't need it even though it looks really good"? Oooff....you're doing good, my friend.

xo

Mimi said...

Jen, what a beautiful post: it's really a selfless thing to give M what she wants like that, and it seems like she really appreciated that gift for what it was. Beautiful.

carol at A Second Cup said...

A good time and a better memory, perfect!

Did your shoes glow from the goo?

Maggie, Dammit said...

God I love this post.

nyjlm said...

sniff. We took my now 9.5yo to Toy Story on Ice when he was 2, and I will never ever forget the look on his face. I had many magical moments at Disneyland as a kid, and I cling to them and wish for those moments for my kids. We live near DWorld. A few months ago we were there, as we left I said to my dh that I felt just like I did as a kid when we'd leave- just filled with magic and excitement. I know and agree with so much of the ick of Disney commercialism, but at the core there is still that magic.

patches said...

a little one on one time goes a long way.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Reading about you succumbing to It's a Small World almost makes me feel better about the time I choked up at the swell of patriotic harmony at the end of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. (Almost.)