FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: It’s A Small World
Three days after my Disneyland “experience,” I am still waking up humming “It’s A Small World.” This does not evoke the pleasant feelings of nostalgic joy which one might think it would. It is more of a haunt than a hymn. I suspect a rare type of hopefully short-term, post-traumatic stress is to blame for this morning mental serenade. This, too, shall pass, I remind myself with as much optimism as I can muster.
I loved sharing Disneyland with my kids. I loved their wide-eyed marvel at all of the fantastic attractions. Disneyland really is a tremendous monument to the incredible power of the imagination and it is pretty amazing contemplating the great, detailed care given to each and every feature. It is impressive and not-a-little mind-blowing imagining the mass of minds which must have been involved creating such a spectacular unnatural phenomenon.
It is only by being a few days removed that I can write affectionately about my experience. My threshold for dancing, cartoon-costumed oddballs and too many damn people is about five hours. We were there for nine and a half. After five, things got squirrelly.
Gratefully, supporting me around every corner, were the weary and frustrated faces of my fellow sufferers. I needed to look no further than the nearest male face to feel a little better. I probably made them feel better, too.
My own disheveled tension shone as a beacon to help guide my other listless and weary Dads through the fog of fried dough concoctions and singing animals. With sunburned bald spots and sore feet, we persisted. For the kids.
While I personally knew no one, I knew them all. We shared a day, a great day that our kids will remember for the rest of their lives. We battled our worse demons and won. We said “Yes” to a seventy minute wait for a ride when we really wanted to say “No”.
We shared a collective understanding that this day was not about us. We were patient and kind and smiled through a grimace with the knowledge that the day was an important one. We were helping with the understanding too, that the day would, mercifully, at some point, end.
Upon reflection, it was worth any suffering I experienced and it may be thinly analogous to childbirth in that, following the trauma of a day’s events, we are stricken by a gratuitous form of amnesia which allows us to remember things fondly. This is good.
When I scratch a little deeper, I am happy I was there and know that I only survived because I was not alone. Fellow Dads were there. Unknown and anonymous Dads walked the good walk. And though, we did not know each other, we did, reinforcing to me that people in this world are more alike than different, independent of race, color or creed. We are the same and on a sunny Friday in Anaheim, California we were one. It truly is a small world. After all.
[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his new exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]