Some days, I wonder if I love my children enough. I have had this recurring horrific thought of, "Would I really miss them if they were gone?"
I know. It's awful. I've thought for a long time that it made me not fit to be a mother. Like I would never be good enough to deserve my children.
Then we went to Disneyworld.
There was such incredible joy every time the boys got to meet a character. Christopher learned to be a Jedi and fought off Darth Vader. Jack Sparrow taught the boys how to be a pirate. We rode roller coasters and Dumbo and It's a Small World and Toy Story Mania. We ate with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Chip, and Dale.
Everyday was as magical as they claim it will be.
None of that was what made me realize that I do, in fact, love my children more deeply than I thought possible. It wasn't the fictional Disney magic that confirmed for me that I would be wrecked without my kids.
It was a rain shower on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It was a sea of ponchos in which my four year old got lost. It was the fifteen minutes I spent battling the logic in my head of, "This is DISNEY. They will find him. They are used to this," against, "OH MY GOD. WHERE IS MY SON?"
One second he was with us, and the next he wasn't. It was raining, so everyone in the park seemed to be wearing identical ponchos. Between the rain and the ponchos, it was impossible to see him in the crowd by the time we realized he was gone. We look for maybe 90 seconds, and then I grab the first Disney employee I see by both arms and wail, "My four year old is missing. You have to HELP ME."
He does. They all do. We were sent to the front of the park who then told us to go back where we were, where they told us to go to Baby Care, which is where Christopher was. That was is it. It maybe took fifteen minutes.
We found Christopher surrounded by young female Disney employees who were reading him books and watching Lady and the Tramp with him. He had his own stuffed Mickey Mouse and only started crying when he saw his mama come running towards him, sobbing.
I did. I sobbed. Big, heaving sobs. The fifteen minutes that he was separated from me and I had no actual control over whether or not I ever saw him again? That quarter of an hour tore my heart to shreds. I wasn't panicked; I was devastated.
But when I saw him sitting there with his little Mickey, and I could hold him again, I knew right then that it was alright. I loved him deeply enough, and I wasn't ever going to lose him again.
The magic of Disney at work, people.