We have annual Disneyland passes and we use them frequently. Over the year, I’ve sort of stopped taking my camera along but when Harper’s grandfather gifted her a Snow White dress after about an hour of careful deliberation in the Disney Store and she begged to wear it, I knew the photos would be to good to pass up. Obviously, it was well worth the extra weight and the worry of water damage caused by that monumental drop at the end of Splash Mountain.
Perhaps the best thing about taking a young child to a place like Disneyland, is their reality. There is no suspension of belief necessary. Everything and everyone there is real to them. Which brings us to the great personal trauma we put out daughter through. When we arrived, having my camera, I wanted to go take some photos in front of the wishing well that sits on one side of the castle. When we got there, the space was occupied but Snow White’s evil stepmother. And of course, the light bulb went off. What a perfect picture opportunity. We stood in line, Harper being quite patient, her hand swinging in mine until it was her turn. She went and stood in next to the evil queen, answered her questions and then the witch went and stood on the other side of the well, where Harper couldn’t see her and suddenly, this situation was really not okay anymore.
As we walked away, Harper said to me “Mom, I didn’t take any apples from that evil lady” her had shaking in mine and it was in that moment, I realized that experience was a need for therapy in the making. Someday Harper will probably recount the entire terrifying tale to her psychiatrist, who will agree it was a pivotal breaking point in her mental stability. I’m sorry, Harp. I really am but it sure did make an awesome photo opp!