Sunday, January 2, 2011

When Circumstances Cause You to Disappoint Others

As far as I'm concerned, there is very little worse than disappointing others. What's even more horrible, however, is when you did everything in your power to make it happen.

Does this look like a sad little girl to you?

Yeah, she looks like she's having fun, doesn't she? In fact, she probably even was having fun. I mean, sledding down a steep hill on the first snowfall of the year? It's fun, no question.

However, for a little girl who'd been expecting to share her Christmas vacation with Mickey Mouse, it was kind of a letdown.

All right, here's what happened.

My mom was down in Florida almost a year ago, and she bought a time share. She arranged to use this Christmas break to take my two girls to Disney (and Universal, so they can see the horrible Harry Potter stuff), and my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew were going down for a few days. Me? I was going to be home alone with the dogs ... cleaning and organizing some stuff around the house, but mostly working on my writing. Yup, the peace and quiet was supposed to be part of my Christmas present.

So my mom bought the plane tickets in October. She's notoriously disorganized, yet she had boarding passes printed out in a folder (this is pretty amazing for my mother). The flight was set to leave Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, and return the next Sunday morning (that would be today, by the way).

So ...

A bunch of the country--including the Northeast--is hit by this stupid storm with bad timing. The Sunday morning flight was canceled, but my mom had the tickets transferred to Tuesday. Everyone was like, "Cool, still going to Disney, just a couple of days later, no big deal really."

Tuesday morning, we got up at 3 am. Both my mother and I checked the flight status before we left the house, and it was a go. I drove them to the airport and waited in the parking lot sending Addie harassing texts (she kept telling me to leave, I wanted to wait until they were literally in the air). To make a long story short, their flight to DC was delayed for hours, so there was no way they were going to make their connection in DC that would have taken them to Orlando.

Home again, home again ... with two devastated children and a far-beyond-devastated grandmother.

And so vacation went from being relaxing to being a means to keep Belle, who was of course the most distraught over the whole thing, from getting even more upset about not being able to go to Florida.

I took her sledding a lot, her grandmother took her to Boston for a night that included the New England Aquarium the next day, her sister has watched a lot of movies with her. Oh, and we've all put in our time playing board games ... we're all a little cutthroat at Sorry these days.

But you know, Belle is never going to forget her trip to Disney that never happened. It was just one of those cases of circumstance giving a nasty surprise, but it's hard to see the innocent eyes of a child become just a tiny bit cynical.

And when it's all said and done, Belle is lucky enough to be going back to Florida in April (along with her grandmother, sister, and ... me--yes, they are making me get on an airplane ... not sure how that's going to work out ;)).

I am just left by how horrible it would have been if we hadn't found other "adventures" for the week, or if she hadn't been to Disney before (and wasn't going again).

Mother Nature really brought forth a lot of those "victim of circumstance" things with that storm!

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