I picked Austin up from school and when we got home we told the kiddos we had some fun options for the afternoon so they should sit on the couch for a family meeting. They knew something was up as we were recording the conversation. As we mentioned different activities for the afternoon they perked up with each suggestion...reading together, playing outside (it was cold), or going to CA for Disney! This is where the opposite personalities of our children are revealed. Oliver could have been any kid in a commercial for Disneyland. You can practically see the magic coming from his eyes. "Really! Really? Are you joking?" He starts bouncing around the house so much that he turns off my phone and the rest will need to be written out.
Austin breaks into heaving sobs. He wants to go, but not NOW. He will miss the snow. He will miss his friends. His teacher and friends won't know where he is and now he will miss Halloween. He wasn't whining, but was just feeling heartsick about not having everything put into place for his absence of four days. When this was going on, Chris and I looked at each other with complete understanding. This was our kiddo who wants to know the lay of the week if not the month. Many mornings we talk about the schedule for that day...who is driving to school, who will be driving tomorrow. What will we do after? We talk about upcoming holidays for weeks before so he remembers the traditions that go along with them. He says he likes surprises, but not big surprises. We gathered him up, assured him we had talked to the right people, he would be back for Halloween, it would snow again, and yes, we packed his blanket. When we got to the airport and asked if he could carry his booster to the baggage check, he jumped up and said, "I know how to do that!" and was all smiles from then on.
As we pulled up to the airport Oliver was still wearing eyes of wonder. "I really thought you were joking!! Are we REALLY going to Radiator Springs?!"
6:30 was take off time. We got there with 20 minutes to spare. Perfect. Crew wasn't there yet, so flight was pushed to 7:15. Even better, we thought, as we grabbed some dinner. 7pm hits and so does the snow. Huge flakes coming fast and furious. Ok, we'll probably be de-icing. We board and the boys break out there work books. They watch the snow. Oliver wonders, "Will the Cars still be awake when we get there?" "No," I say. "They'll probably be asleep in their garages." "Even the SHERIFF? Some sheriffs stay up all night!" he says. "I don't know kiddo, that will be a great question for him when we get there."
De-Icing has been pushed to 8:15. 8:30. 8:45. Finally at 9:10 we head on over. The process takes till 10:30 and Chris and I are thinking they will just send us home as they can't de-ice us faster than the snow is falling. But! We take off. The boys were amazing which is one of the reasons I love to travel with kids. They are so adaptive at times and as long as they feel safe and secure with the people they are with, they can really hang in there so well. We heard a lot of grumbling from adults around us, but the kids sat for those 3+ hours on the runway and would just laugh that we were still sitting on the ground. Around 10:30 we told them it was bedtime and they laid their heads down and went to sleep till we landed.
12am CA time we land and head for the car rental. 2am we leave for the hotel and 3am we collapse into bed. Will we really take on Disneyland, a day of $330 tickets, with a 3 and 5 year old that have pulled as close to all nighter as they ever had? Oh yes we will and it will be one of the best days this family has spent together!