When I was little, we went to Disneyland.
I’d like to think that it was a lot less expensive to go to Disneyland back then…..and it probably was “less expensive”.
(My friend, Clay, was saying yesterday that he bought a 1971 Super Beetle….in 1971…. for 2.300 dollars, though….so “expensive” must change over time.)
I don’t think that you could buy a car that cheaply now.
Anyway, my parents took us to Disneyland back in the mid-sixties….and I skipped merrily through the streets….completely jacked up to be little and excited with life and the Magic Kingdom.
When we moved East, my parents took us to DISNEY WORLD!!
It was even bigger and better than Disneyland….and, even though I was older and didn’t skip through the streets anymore, it was pretty darn cool.
My Dad couldn’t move far enough to get away from “Disney whatever”….World or Land, it followed us somehow.
I will bet that it was kind of expensive.
Even in the old dollars.
We’re going to a place called Great Wolf Lodge for my youngest son’s birthday this year.
We’re staying in a “theme suite” called the “Wolf Den”.
In 40 years, Nate will be able to say, looking back at how much of our “old money” we spent to do this escapade, “Hey!! That was pretty cheap!! Imagine how much it would be to do that today?!!”
Of course, it would be really uncomfortable for Nate to stay in the special cave room with the bunk beds…..(AND HIS OWN TV)….when he’s 46.
That wouldn’t fly in 40 years.
In 40 years, he’ll be more excited about the free happy hour at the Embassy Suites.
He’ll care more about the free breakfast than about meeting Mickey.
That’s what time does.
THAT IS WHAT TIME DOES.
The reason I mention any of this is because I don’t remember any vigorous complaining about the money when my parents were doing any of this stuff they did for us….when I was little.
They didn’t complain about it when I was big, either.
It’s just not a part of the experience that I remember.
They just did good things for us.
Now, I’m the Daddy and I bitch and moan.
What’s funny about that?
That’s no fun for anybody.
If something’s a ripoff and they’ve got you over a barrel and they nickel and dime you over every single thing that a kid might notice and then decide is vital for a “fun experience” to occur….well…..I better learn to pretend that I don’t notice and just suck it up and dole out the dough….and keep my mouth shut and let everybody JUST HAVE A NICE TIME.
If something’s a major ripoff…..JUST KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.
That is a life lesson.
You don’t want the childhood memory to be that Daddy whined about spending any money.
What a crummy legacy that would be to leave behind…..”My father was one of the GREAT CHEAPSKATES.”
That would be crummy.
Sometimes, the joy costs.
Most times it’s free….but sometimes you have to spend some money.
Suck it up….and let the joy be joyful…..and let these little guys stay blissfully unaware of adult concerns.
Keep your freaking cheap mouth shut!!
That’s a “memo to self”.
“when you wish upon a star” Pinocchio soundtrack….