I’m a father. Being a father is a key part of who I am. It’s one of the most important things I’ll ever do. It gives me tremendous joy. I’ve been a dad for so long now that I can scarcely recall not being a dad. What I do remember about non-dad-me is that he was way thinner and way cooler than dad-me. I’ve been a dad for so long that young dad-me wouldn’t even recognize current dad-me. The other day I realized that I’d turned into Norm from this old house. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s awesome, I’m just not sure how it happened.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, one of the things I’ve learned about being a dad is that showing up is critical. Being there is critical. A corollary to that is that when you’re there, you need to make memories. Those together times, and the memories we make during those times, form the glue that binds our family together. It gives us a shared history and a shared identity. It’s what makes us the family that we are. And my wife and kids have taught me that it can’t stop at making memories either, you have to have the pics and the vids and you have to splash them all over the walls and the internet.
So, my wife and I have tried to develop activities that we do regularly as a family – ones that give us that together time and those happy memories. Going to Disneyland is one of those. We visit the happiest place on earth regularly, and we take as many of our crew as we can. It’s a sacrifice because we don’t live in California, we have a large crew, and, well, we’re not rich (please don’t send money or start a GoFundMe campaign, we’re fine). But over many years of making these pilgrimages, we’ve amassed a thousand happy, giggling, laughing, snorting, crazy memories with our kids, our families, and our friends. And some of the most outrageous Splash Mountain pose-pics you’ll ever see 🙂
As a result, not only have we strengthened our family ties, but each member of my family has found a special interest in the world of Disney, from animation to collectibles to imagineering to the man himself, and more (you’ll see posts about all of these in the coming months). In short, we’ve become confirmed DisNerds.
One of the most enjoyable parts of this is that we’ve been able to help other families have the same kinds of wonderful family experiences by sharing our Disney knowledge with them. I remember one morning in Disneyland, I was walking down Main Street USA with my daughter, talking about the famed Windows on Main Street, when we realized that a group of people was following along and listening in. After I answered a few questions from the group, we had a good laugh when I told them it wasn’t a tour. It was then that I realized that we had gathered so much Disney insider information, and fielded so many Disney questions over the years, that we needed to find a way of sharing that information with more than just those closest to us.