A Disney World Memory

As the proud grandfather to five grandkids - two boys, three girls -
ranging in age from 5 months to 2 and two-thirds years of age,
plans have recently started for taking them to Disney World.

This recalled memories from 12 years ago; we’d not been married long,
when we took our three boys - hers only 10, mine 15 and 20 - to that
fantasy land alive with magic…and that infernal ‘Mickey Mouse’ song!

Back then my step-son Jason and I were each still “feeling our way” -
trying to decide of what moral fiber each other was made. Being
a step-parent is the hardest job one can undertake, I’d have to say.

At Disney World for three days we had a truly wonderful time -
rides, shows, laser light displays, Electric Light parades, rides.
Everything had been perfect; every memory made, happy and fine.

Then came the thing that now in memories stands out from the rest.
Noontime on the final day Linda found a $20, foot-tall, toadstool-
shaped topiary she loved and wanted to buy. But I knew best…

“You don’t want to have to lug that thing around all afternoon.
We’ll come back and buy it when we are ready to leave. I’m sure
that would be the smart thing to do. It’s foolish to buy it too soon.”

After a fun-filled afternoon, it was time for our souvenir buying.
The three boys all scattered, each with $25 from us to spend.
The long way back to the topiary shop Linda and I slowly did wend.
Upon our arrival, Linda immediately looked upset, almost crying.

“It’s not here! The one I really wanted is gone! It was the only one!”
“I sold that one just a short while ago. Sorry. We have no more.”
We bought a substitute, but now I felt terrible for what I’d done.

At our meeting place, Linda masked her disappointment well.
At the appointed time, only Jason was missing. I thought “Swell!
Just like him to keep us all waiting. He can be so inconsiderate!”

Suddenly tears flooded Linda’s eyes. Why’d she start to cry?
Approaching was Jason…carrying that toadstool topiary he had
bought for his mother. And it was the only thing that he did buy….

Harry Edward Gilleland      3.24.02