• Heidi Jaquith

A bear hug in Disneyland

First off, I know I'm a little dorky and can be emotional. Here's a true story of mini meltdown and a lesson I learned.

It was our final morning at Disneyland and our Magic Morning (it allows you into the park an hour before its open to the public). We woke the kids up at 6am, headed over to Disneyland and were riding Peter Pan by 710am. Now, know that we did a total Disneyland splurge and a few weeks ago bought a nonrefundable Breakfast with Minnie scheduled for 750am that Saturday morning. Please know, we literally got the cheapest hotel, we packed granola bars, chomp sticks and fruit leather....so breakfast with Minnie is silly expensive BUT it was our one thing we decided to splurge on down there. So at 730am we realize we can jump on Dumbo before heading over to eat with Minnie. As we buckle in it starts to rain. As they start the ride and we are going up in the air...it starts dumping buckets. Like torrential rain. The rain I saw in Costa Rica and Mexico. Crazy rain. And there we are, with our kids, flying in circles outside. My shoes and socks are wet. My jeans are COMPLETELY soaked through. I'm covering my 4 year old daughter the whole ride. When the ride stops she looks up, water droplets coming off her hair and she says through shivers, "mom, can we go back to the hotel?"

I run with the kids to seek cover, and Joel goes for our stroller. A few minutes later he comes back with our stroller completely saturated. I'm in a shop packed like sardines next to strangers and my shivering kids. We can't be late for our non refundable reservation, so Joel throws our crying shivering daughter over his shoulder, I grab my sons hand and we run to our breakfast. We are in line, soaked, shivering and cold. We wait 20 minutes in line. At the front the lady was kind but everything seemed chaotic. Not magical, not organized, but chaotic. I guess when they had people make the reservations it was with indoor AND outdoor seating. She said we could get a full refund since the weather threw off the plans, or wait 15 minutes for a table. Joel tells her we will wait. So we stand off to the side. I'm holding my shivering daughter, my hairs wet, I think my undies are wet. She's not whining or complaining at all, truly just cold and sad. I don't want to eat like this. I ask Joel if we should just cancel it and spent 20$ at Starbucks to get everyone breakfast. It was miserable. As soon as he went up to the lady to tell her to take our name of the list , she turns to him "Sir, your table is ready." So in we go dripping water behind us.

The moment we sit down at the table, my 6 year old says, " I need to poop." So I quickly ask a worker where the closest restroom is. Of course its "outside, around the corner, down this way, past this ride, on your right blah blah blah." Joel leaves to take him. Hadley's still crying and wet, I get up and take her with me and my eyes start to water while scooping up Micky mouse shaped pancakes, she asks for hot cocoa and I see an out of order sign (turns out it wasn't later), so I quietly start to cry. I decide to have her eat her warm food first and I'll get my food when Joel gets back. We go back to the table. I'm in a room full of people and I'm just sitting at the expensive breakfast with no food and watery eyes watching my daughter shiver and eat her pancake. This is our first hour of Disneyland. Its like 810am.

I see Hadley's face change to a bright smile, and cute little giggles. Winnie the Pooh comes up from behind me and hugs Hadley. I started to cry. He made my daughter forget how cold and wet she was. He brought magic into her morning. She did a 180 and is just in heaven. I'm so thankful he made her morning. Then, Pooh turns to me and just embraces me. Now this is where you can laugh at me. Like 3 times a year, I have a cry that I CANNOT control. So when Pooh bear hugs me (literally), I feel my shoulders shake and I sob into him while he holds me. Joel is still gone, and Winnie the pooh is holding me as all my emotions are released. After a moment he steps back, tilts his head and NO JOKE, he takes his PAW and wipes away my tears. I cry harder dang it. He's standing close to me so I look deep into his eyes trying to find the human eyes to thank for the hug and I can't find them. So looking deep into the Pooh eyes I whisper cry, "thank you Pooh." He nods, blows me a kiss and walks away. Joel comes back a few minutes later and asks if I'm okay, I told him through the tears that Pooh hugged me lol.

Pooh didn't say anything. Pooh didn't ask me anything. Pooh just saw a need and filled it. Pooh wasn't afraid to walk up and just hug me. He wasn't awkward when I cried into him. He was just there. Hugging, standing, wiping away tears. He filled my cup. As a mom, and as a planner and a bit of an enneagram 1, I was overwhelmed with the 40 unplanned minutes of rain and chaos. I was in a room full of people but Winnie the Pooh saw me. He met a need. He blessed me. We do not always need words. We just need to have open eyes to SEE who around us might need a hug, help unloading their grocery cart, maybe a coffee or a porch surprise. Words can bless people, but actions take things next level. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not know what to say, just sit with them, just hug them, just be there.


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