Monday, December 9, 2013

The Magic is Gone

Three things have lost their "magical" appeal for me in the last few years:
  Walt Disney World, The Philadelphia Eagles, and Christmas.

We took Tommy to Disney World when he was two and half years old. You have my permission to laugh.

He was scared of everything. Every ride, every character. We even had to leave the park early after suffering through a long and tasteless dinner at a Magic Kingdom restaurant when he was scared of the guy's voice who narrated the parade. I think his favorite thing about that trip was meeting up with our friend's son and eating lollipops with him.


Tommy's favorite thing at Disney World

And since then, Tommy has never gotten really excited about anything at Disney World. 

But, because I didn't learn my lesson the first time, I thought we should take him there for his 5th birthday!!! How great would that be, right? Spending your birthday at one of the most magical places on Earth? When I asked him that day if he was having fun, he replied, "When are we going to go back to Grandmom's house to open presents and eat cake?"

Lesson learned. Tommy's happy just to play with friends and eat treats.

Then there is a football team from around here affectionately referred to as the "Iggles". Many of my friends who are not Philadelphia fans, my husband included, could provide me with a list a mile long about why the Eagles are not magical, have never been magical, and will never be magical. They'd probably agree with my assessment of last year's squad as "losery losers who like to lose". Even though this year's team has a lot more promise than in years past, my interest has still waned. 

Finally, there's Christmas. I feel like we just had Christmas. Like it just happened last month and I am weary at the idea of doing it all over again. Part of this may be that Christmas is filled with A LOT more stress than you would ever expect when you become a parent. Santa story-telling and visits, rationing out gift ideas to competing relatives, worrying about how much everything will cost, deciding what toys you are going to toss from last year to make room for the gifts this year and on and on. And we don't even do that Elf thing. 

But you know what I have figured out that these three things have in common? My Dad loved them all. And I think that since he is no longer here, these things don't have as much magic for me as they used to. 

He took me to Disney World with my cousins when I was two and a half years old. I feel like I remember being there and the wonder of it all even though it is probably just me remembering the re-telling of the fun we had while looking at the pictures my grandfather took.  

Brenna, Minne Mouse, Kirstie, & Kara

Kara  (foreground), Aunt Carol rockin' those super
shorty shorts, Kirstie, Uncle Joe, my Dad, me!

Donald Duck & Brenna Fach (circa 1980)


And he loved the Eagles. Every Sunday he would watch and holler and jump up and down in the family room when, inevitably, the Eagles would mess up. We sat through bitter cold at the Linc to watch Donovan McNabb get hurt (and the Eagles lose) when they played the Tennessee Titans in week 11 of the 2006 season. He even agreed to go with us to an Eagles game at the Vet in the pouring rain. And when we got there, we couldn't even see the field because we were sitting literally right behind the Eagles bench. I'll tell you what...Andy Reid's ass never looked so big!

My Dad loved every holiday, but Christmas was #1 in our house. I think his love for Christmas stemmed from how magical his parents made the holiday for him as a child. He told us that my grandfather and grandmother (ahem...I mean Santa) did everything on Christmas Eve. Decorated the tree, put out all the presents, and even set up a HUGE model train set on the dining room table. 

And he made Christmas just as special for his family. Every year he would keep me and my sisters in suspense at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning until everything was just right downstairs. And he wrapped all of my stepmother's presents the best. Shiny foil paper, big fancy bows; all her gifts arranged in their own space, perfectly. 

I miss my Dad a lot. My boys don't even really know who he was. He is just a story I tell them about. 

But I guess for their sakes (and mine), I'll keep telling the stories about my Dad, and Christmas, and the Eagles games. Maybe we'll even go back to Disney World someday. :)