Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"You're Taking a Vacation to Disney... Without Your Kids?"

A child finding out an adult is going to Disney World without him
(Image Source: Love Image Collections)

As you may have guessed from this blog's title, I'm a dad.  I have two little kids, a three-year old son and a 19-month old daughter.  Every time I've brought up my vacation to someone at work or friends, this is pretty much how the conversation goes:

Running Daddy: We're going on vacation next week
Coworker #1:  Oh, where are you going?
RD: Florida.
CW1: Disney? [I nod].  Oh, you're kids will LOVE that.
RD: We're not taking the kids.  This is a vacation just for us.
CW1: [with a look of confusion] So you're *not* taking your kids... to Disney World.
RD: Yep
CW1: Hey Bob!  Get a load of this!  This guy's going to Disney and he isn't taking his kids.
Coworker #2: [looking at me like I just told his kids that Santa Clause isn't real]1But... why?  Why, GOD?!  WHHHHHHYYYYYY!
[And... Scene]
Well, I'll tell you why.  Because Disney World is a damn expensive place, my kids are really little, and I don't feel like spending all that money to either (a) only spend a few hours at a park before having to bring the kids back to our hotel for a nap (with my son surely throwing a fit the whole way because we're taking him OUT of Disney World); or (b) spend the whole day there and have the most exhausted, crabby kid ever.

Here's a little secret that the people at Disney will never tell you... while it is hard to be too old for Disney World, it is definitely possible to be too young for Disney World.  Honestly, my kids would not appreciate Disney to its fullest extent, and they certainly wouldn't understand that Mommy and Daddy had to sell a kidney for this trip.

I know you're probably thinking "You cheap bastard... just shell out the money."  Well, my guess is, Mr. Fictitious Reader, that you are not a parent (or you're ridiculously wealthy).  I'm guessing there are lots of parents reading this that are silently nodding to themselves (OK, nobody is reading this... but if there were parents reading this, they would be nodding to themselves).  I also bet that at least some of these non-existent parents are secretly a little jealous that my wife and I get to spend some time away from our kids.2

"Well, you're just selfish then," I'm sure you're thinking.  Well, Mrs. Rhetorical Device, I don't really see how that can be true.  My parents and my wife's parents will be taking care of our kids the whole time we are gone, and both sets of grandparents are wonderful with them.  If you ever stayed with your grandparents, even overnight, you know that my kids are going to have a blast.3

The truth is, there is nothing wrong with (a) taking a vacation without your kids (especially when they are so little that it really isn't a vacation), and (b) taking that vacation at a place that is generally regarded as being a "family" destination.

I literally have decades to bring my kids to Disney World, and I will.  Just not this trip.  So back off.

1 Spoiler alert, Santa isn't real. Sorry.
2 And before you start calling me a bad parent or whatever: (1) I'm an excellent parent and (2) I love my kids more than anything in the world... but sometimes you really need a break.
3 The grandparents may need a stay in the hospital after they're done watching the kids... but they agreed to this, so that's their problems.

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