I spent this week on the dream vacation of most American children. My family and I travelled to Florida, went to the beach, spent 2 days at Disneyworld, and stayed at a fun hotel with waterslides and a pool. Between the hotel and Disneyworld, a parent could have felt overwhelmed with all the characters, from princesses to Mickey Mouse to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It could really feel over-commercialized.
While my children loved meeting their favorite characters, what we really enjoyed was being surrounded by stories. There were stories everywhere, behind each of the rides and experiences. We immersed ourselves in Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. We flew on a Rebel Spy mission past the Death Star and back to base. My son was chosen to play the Beast in a special story with Belle. We even made some of our own memories and stories to share for years to come.
This trip has reminded me of the stories behind the places we experience everyday- both fantastical and ordinary. And it reminded me why I (and many of you) write for children: for the chance to give a child joy and laughter, and to help them dream.