It’s fall, I’ve just started some chicken chili in the slow cooker and there’s football on the television. Thus begins one of my favorite seasons of the year. If only it felt like fall outside – here in Houston it is approximately 100 degrees outside. Though there are many realities I work with clients to accept – I don’t accept that I can’t wear sweaters in September. At least with the air conditioning on I can wear them inside the house…

The fall makes me think of Disney World. We haven’t been to Disney World in the fall since before we moved to back to Houston (when Number 71 was 1 year old), but in my mind Main Street USA is perpetually decked out in fall foliage and smiling mickey pumpkins. There was something magical about that trip that has kept it fresh in my mind. It was early October of 2010, we knew we were moving to Texas in November and had left our legal jobs in London, but not moved out of our apartment yet. We stayed at the Polynesian, always a favorite and both my husband’s sister (with her four kids) and my husband’s brother (with his two), as well as my mother and father in law were all in the parks.

Number 71 and The Dancer were 1 and 3, still riding in a double stroller and limited to Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh most of the time. And yet. We ate at Chef Mickey’s (an experience I will never repeat). And yet. I remember spending a lot of time in the room, in the dark, waiting for babies to take a nap. And yet.

The girls believed in the magic and were so happy to be with their cousins and aunts and uncles in a way that they never got to when we lived in London. They were the youngest along, but as the youngest they also got the most attention. I don’t remember there being crowds – though there must have been. I don’t remember waiting – though I KNOW rationally that we did and that there was a night where we ended up waiting over an hour for a boat back from the Wilderness Lodge after we had dinner at the Hoop-de-do Revue.

It’s funny how time blunts the aggravations and annoyances that I’m sure were experienced – especially when traveling with that many people – and leaves me with the a happy glow around those memories and a lingering sense that THAT is what Disney World will always be.

That’s probably some of the Disney Magic that takes away the aggravation – even from the trips that don’t go as planned and leave us with the memories. I’ve been aggravated, for sure, on trips we’ve been on since then, but the formative memories that remain from those trips are the happy moments. Those moments watching my daughter with the evil stepsisters:

Or of my little one sleeping in my arms on the safari. My brothers-in-law hiding in the back at Chef Mickey, wishing they were somewhere that might serve them something stronger than fountain coke to drink if it’s going to be as loud as it was. Of later trips when we discovered the Tutto Gusto Wine Cave (no reservations required, SHHHHHH, they serve a full and delicious lunch menu and are more than happy to bring over pizzas and spaghetti for the kids). Of eating ice cream in the hub and watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade with the castle in the background.

And here’s the thing. Too much reality acceptance can be tough to take. So, even while I want my clients to accept the reality of the situations that they’re in so that they can begin to deal with them. I want them to dream and to romanticize as well. Having things that bring you joy is what makes life worthwhile.

SO even though the sweater doesn’t really comport with reality, I continue to wear it because it fits with my romantic notion of fall and my memories of it from when I was a kid.

Published by alexm1008

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor practicing in Houston, Texas. I specialize in helping clients develop skills and strategies to feel more in control of their emotions and behaviors. I am also a wife and mother of two who loves to run and travel (particularly to Disney World with my kids and without).

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