We did what we could to combat the malaise.
We took a family trip to Disney.
Our week had all the plot elements of a Sunday night Wonderful World of Disney adventure. .
Some wished to ride the Teacups and climb the Swiss Family Robinson's tree.
There was souvenir money to be spent, and favorite childhood haunts to be revisited.
Could the real thing possibly live up to the Magic Kingdom of their dreams?
There was bravery. Abbie, engrossed in the Hall of Presidents, is left behind, but keeps her head and stays put 'til her dad retrieves her. Aaron powers through a brief but nasty bug with a stiff upper lip and a cheery demeanor. Lizzie overcomes the tears of her first roller coaster ride at Space Mountain to take a second spin on the Rockin' Roller coaster at Disney Hollywood. This time, she says, it was 'fun'. Josh crosses the road to see a gator. Josh later eats some gator. Bella kisses a gator. Alissa tries an oyster. So does Gabe.
The middle kids fill autograph books with signatures from favorite characters
while Josh sheds his Mickey Mouse ears just long enough to wear Olaf on his head.The older cousins are kind, tolerant, generous good sports who are everyone's first choice to sit by on a ride, in the mini van or on the plane.
And, finally, this being a Disney show, there were dreams come true: a pool party after dark in January..
.an afternoon at the beach digging in the sand and splashing in the surf
....seeing an alligator in the wild..
.an entire family album of photos with a well groomed blue eyed Wookie.
and finally, jubilant as the skit plays out.