Tag Archives: disneyland

Mommy: The Lying Dream Crusher (that’s me)

5 Jul

I hate disappointing my children. That look of heartbreak they give you that shoots directly to your tear ducts. Brutal.

When HB was 3, I promised her that she could take Ballet class after school. Exactly one day after I made the promise, I was put on bed rest, 8 months pregnant with her twin brother and sister.

Breaking the news to her was like telling her that I would be collecting all her stuffed animals and murdering them one by one. She cried, she screamed, she sobbed. She even told me that I ruined her dream of becoming a ballerina. Ouch.

Disneyland plans will get rained out. Birthday parties will get cancelled. The Fourth sibling that the kids want, will never ever happen. All bummers, but that’s life.

Yesterday, The Huntington Library was closed, after driving all the way to San Marino with a carload of crankies. We went on and on about all the great works of art they would get to see. The beautiful children’s garden they could run through. We even came up with some nutso story about a secret land of Panda Bears and Koi fish that they had there.

Lo and behold, we pull up, big beautiful gates closed and locked tight. CLOSED.
What happened next was even more surprising than seeing that the library and gardens were closed (despite the website not saying so).

Nobody freaked out. Not one scream. Not one single, “But you said we were going in there! Why did you lie! This is the worst day ever!”

I calmly said, “Ok, I guess we made a mistake, let’s go somewhere else that’s fun.”

They went for it.
We went on to have a great rest of the day. Not the day we had planned, but a good one nonetheless.

As hard as I try, I will disappoint my children. Life will disappoint them. Friends, lovers, and spouses will disappoint them. They will disappoint themselves. What matters in the face of all this is what they do next.

I don’t think it’s my job to make sure they are never let down in life. I think it’s my job to teach them how to react when they are let down in life.



Birth order blues

7 May

I’m afraid of the dark. Alright I am deeply terrified of the dark. My friend JL Says it’s because I’m part Canadian. I can’t really put my finger on the exact origin of the phobia, but its real and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I never walk into a pitch black room to find something that I left behind, I always turn the lights on before proceeding into the abyss. I never sleep in complete darkness without a substantial light source within reach. I never dangle my legs over the side of the bed, that’s just asking for trouble.

I can trace some of it back to my Dad who is famous for his “sound effects.” Apparently in Romania they were so deprived that they had nothing better to do other than to scare the shit out of each other. I can remember being about 4 years old and sitting on the toilet and hearing spooky wind noises coming from the doorway. As if a newly potty trained child isn’t jumpy enough, my father thought it would be a good practical joke to play on his youngster. There was also the time he snuck me on Space Mountain at Disneyland when I was about 3 years old and I vomited the rest of the day, as told to me by my Mother. Maybe it all started when he took my sisters and I camping and told us the story about the bear that chased him and my Mom at night into the lake and almost ripped them to shreds.

I called my Dad and asked him if he realized that all these exposures might be the reason I am scared of the dark to this day. I reminded him of these stories and countless other times he scared the daylights out of the 5 of us kids. He was laughing so hard on the other side of the phone he couldn’t even speak. It took a good few minutes for him to get a hold of himself. Finally he spoke: “Leslie, I did the best I could, I was trying to desensitize you so you would be strong. Sorry if I messed you up. You were our first after all.”

There you have it folks. I may have some quirks and fears, but I am the first born after all. When HB calls me in 30 years and asks me why she is the way she is I will tell her the exact same thing. Sorry hun, every parent messes up kid number one.


Where are you in your family’s birth order? Does it make a difference?

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