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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mom, I Can Handle Anything



“Mom, I’m 9, I can handle anything.”  Those were the words spoken to me yesterday evening during a family walk.  Oh, I wish I had had some sort of recording device that captured the moment, but alas, that’s part of what makes moments “moments”—the spontaneity. 

The context of the statement isn’t as important as the content.  The boy really does believe he can handle anything.  I admire his confidence.  I wouldn’t categorize it as fearlessness, as there are still some things that cause him trepidation, like riding Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, or Rock-n-Roller Coaster. Just confidence that he trusts himself enough to handle situations, or how he puts it—“anything.”  And, the thing is, he hasn’t encountered a situation that he hasn’t been able to “handle” at least that I know of.

Just recently, he ventured to the dentist to get a tooth pulled, as we are in the “consult” stage with the orthodontist.  I had an appointment for a check-up at the same time, so the plan was to go to the office together, but I couldn’t go with him for the actual tooth pulling.  The choice was his—do you want your dad to go with you or do you want to go by yourself?  His choice—go by himself, which he did.  Before I knew it the dentist had brought him to the room where I was having my regular teeth cleaning and examine.  He lad a piece of gauze stuck in his mouth and a numb lip.  The dentist re-checked him before we both left.  But in the meantime, he wanted to leave and walk the 3 blocks to his summer recreation location by himself.  I said no as there was no sidewalk and I wanted to tell the summer rec counselors about his numb mouth.  He waited patiently.  And, had a great rest of the day at summer rec.

Then there are the Disney moments he has handled well.  I was reading an on-line discussion about what is the right age to have kids ride rides by themselves, etc. when thinking about Disney.  Well, the boy’s first time do manage a queue and ride a ride by himself was definitely not planned.  It happened in March of 2010, if memory serves, so the boy would have been 7.  We were at the Magic Kingdom and the husband and boy were in line for the Barnstormer.  I went to get Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear.  I got part way there and realized that I didn’t have the Key to the World Cards—as the husband had them.  I phoned the husband and said I would meet him at the entrance to the Barnstormer to get the cards.  Well, I did.  But what I didn’t know at the time was that the husband didn’t get back in line with the boy after giving me the cards.  The boy managed the rest of the queue by himself and then rode the ride.  The husband waited for him at the exit and then met me.  Neither were the worse for the experience.  In fact, the boy was overjoyed that he did it by himself. 

Now, we have only expanded on that theme a little by him riding attractions by himself while the husband and I ride, too, like Toy Story Mania or Buzz Lightyear.  Or he goes by himself to play in the Boneyard or the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure while the husband and I wait nearby.

The “I can handle anything” stance is there when it comes to foods, too.  Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and microwave chicken nuggets are no longer “liked.”  Instead, he mixes various steak sauces for dipping, enjoys salads, hard boiled eggs, and eats cherry tomatoes like they are grapes.  The other day, the husband bought hot sauce at the store to add some spice to his steak, etc.  The boy gave it a try, too, and liked it.  He’s eaten duck, oysters, lobster, and gravitated to clams during our most recent trip to Walt Disney World.  His adventurous eating is a quality I admire about him.

My greatest hope is that his confidence stays with him.  That he is just as confident at 16, when self-doubt and self-consciousness loom, as he is at 9.  I want him to feel that he can handle anything, and more than just feel, I want him to be able to handle anything.  They sure do grow up fast!

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