Our family is planning our first full family adventure to Disney later this year. The 5 kids understand that this trip to Disney IS Christmas and summer vacation all rolled into one. But our oldest is young enough to still enjoy and our youngest is old enough so this is the year. I have very mixed emotions about the whole thing. Kind of an excited dread, being sorely outnumbered and all. I never did Disney as a kid, so I’m truly happy for the kids who have been talking and planning for months.
But this is no small feat. You take 5 kids and throw in some Autism and it’s sort of like planning an invasion. Nothing with Autism is simple. Nothing. So a trip to Disney is the mother of all trips. I still can’t believe we’re doing this, but we’re committed, so bring it. Promises are meant to be kept.
Here’s the thing: ‘m married to a dreamer and and all my kids are dreamers too. I am ALWAYS the “NO” person. The one with feet rooted firmly in reality. The party-pooper. So my family comes up with this idea to raise money for the Disney trip. Dad mentions at supper a few weeks ago that there’s a community yard sale at a local grocery store. Maybe the kids could sell lemonade. Innocent enough, right?
Well, it started that way. But the yard sale is this weekend and now the kids have these grandieous plans. The girls have all found their princess costumes to wear so they can push the cute factor through the roof. They want to build….BUILD….a lemonade stand and now they have come up with a competition for the lemonade. See, our state has 2 rival college teams and so they think they can sell lemonade based on the color of these 2 teams. Customers can support their team while they contribute to Disney. So my firstborn and only son, with his scientific brain has figured out how to make red lemonade that still taste like lemonade. The family is ecstatic. Nobody is listen to me say, “who wants to drink red lemonade?”
Today the girls started in on their “art work”. Drawing pictures to sell. My 5 year old who can’t write, asks me to write “I’m Little” on her last picture. Why? She says people will buy more if they know she’s little! Ok. Now I’m scared. What in the world, child?
In the meanwhile, a sweet fellow from church brought me 3 big ole bags of muscadines and today I was straining the juice from them for jelly. I planned to freeze it until a more suitable time to make jelly. For those of you who aren’t from the Deep South and don’t know what muscadine jelly is, I’m so, so very sorry for you. As a friend said recently: “Muscadine jelly with hot cat head biscuits will make you want to slap your granny!” If you have no idea what I just said, here’s the translation:- “that’s some good eating!” Take my word for it. He’s right.
Now my kids have decided that we need to sell muscadine jelly to help get them down the road to Disney. I started to open my mouth to say, “You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no way I’m getting that done before Saturday.” But I chose not to say it and only to think it.
Here’s the moral of this story: Let your kids dream. And more importantly, let them work hard for their dreams. My kids are dreaming of going to Disney and I can make that dream happen. In fact, I would just prefer to skip the whole lemonade stand, yard sale mess and make jelly when the kids are in school next week. It would be a lot easier and not nearly as much work. And when I’ve finished buying all the things I need for the kiddos to accomplish this enterprise I doubt there will be much profit. But they don’t have to know that!
Sometimes we have to do a lot of work at a lot of cost to get the best out of our kids. And teaching them to work for something they want or to follow a dream is priceless. Bless your kids if you can, but showing them how to plan, work, think things through, and complete a job, now there’s a blessing that will last a lifetime.