Maggie surprised me the first night at Disney. She asked Kim to buy her a pair of Mickey Mouse ears that lit up. I’m sure if she’d asked me I would have said no. You’d think I would know better by now. I would have been wrong.
Kim figured that Maggie would want something like that and as long as she was at Disney she would wear it but once we got home she wouldn’t. So, she reasoned, why not get it on the first night so that Maggie got maximum use out of it. I would have said no on the first day and no on the last day. Sometimes I just don’t get it.
Maggie loved the ears. She wore them all the time. Usually she gets something like that and a few minutes later she announces that they hurt her head or something and never wears them again. Not this time. She wore them on and off the entire week. She would put them in the bag when she rode some rides and ask for them back when we walked around. She loved the ears.
Maggie was child-like in a way that warmed Kim and my hearts. She wasn’t standing outside of herself and observing the experience. She was embracing it and living it – ears and all.
Elena, we figured, would have wanted one of the princess hats with the frilly stuff cascading down from the point. Elena would have wanted a Figment pin. Maggie thought about it and then said “that’s ok”. She asked for surprisingly little during our week there.
At MGM, Kim and Maggie headed for the ladies room and I headed for the mens room. Maggie turned towards me and I saw that her ears were on. The ears were mirrored surfaces with little lights that lit up in a pattern.
As I entered the mens room I heard a toilet in the ladies room flush. A little girl screamed from a stall in the mens room.
Her dad said, “that was next door. That wasn’t this toilet.”
“I don’t like the automatic flush, daddy,” the little girl said.
I smiled. Just like Elena. I remembered many times when Elena would jump off the seat when she thought it was about to flush. I remember standing next to her half turned away with her holding onto my sleeve while she went to the bathroom.
“Daddy,” the little girl said.
I tried not to listen but I couldn’t help myself.
“What?” her dad asked.
“How come you don’t have a vagina?” she asked.
I smiled even more widely. What great memories of the same type of conversation with my girls. To me it was like having a part of Elena back with me.
The dad was a bit self-conscious. He knew someone else was in the bathroom with them. He didn’t answer her right away.
“How come, daddy?” she prompted.
The dad said, “let’s not talk about this right now. We’ll talk about it later.”
“OK, daddy,” the little girl said.
I washed my hands and thanked them for bringing back memories.
My day was brighter. My ears lit up too – just not in a pattern like Maggie’s.