Playing Hooky

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I decided to break the rules and let my kids play hooky for the day! I planned a trip to Disneyland with many of my friends from Dancing With The Stars.  It was the perfect place to meet again after so many weeks shared together.

To my surprise, my oldest who has been diligently studying for her ISEE test decided to skip the trip to attend school and rest up for the stressful exam, which was scheduled for the following day.

Sounds honorable, I know, but there are issues related to her decision that concern me. The pressure in sixth grade to get top scores in order to make it to the next scholastic level in private school seem a bit intense to me.

I went to public school, so this is all new to me. My older girl’s father is Mr. Academic, a doctor and also Type A – so he’s all for the sacrifice. I respect his beliefs very much and thankfully we value each other’s different opinions. I think giving our children the best opportunities is super important, I’m just concerned about the balance between work and play during their tender years.  I won’t even get started on that subject – I know that my opinion comes from the perspective of an entertainer, not a math physicist. And I know there’s much to debate, but honestly I’d rather talk about Disneyland.

The irony was that I was the one encouraging a free day and my daughter was the one wanting to stay focused and study a bit extra. We definitely are wired quite differently.  I appreciate my daughter’s assiduous nature and I have a great deal of respect for her work ethic, so I supported her decision but in my heart of hearts, I felt like she had prepared and studied all she could.  She took a voluntary study class for 3 months, took every prep test and even gave up Friday nights and part of Thanksgiving break to do online courses and tutoring.  I felt that by 24 hours prior to her exam, she had learned everything she could possibly absorb. A fun day to relax her 11-year-old mind seemed like a great idea.  Well, try explaining that to a self-motivating Type A kid in overdrive! What I love about her also concerns me… but isn’t that how motherhood always is?

So my stressed out 11-year-old stayed back by her own choice and off we went to Disneyland. I did feel sad to take my family to “The Happiest Place On Earth,” minus one member, but I was even more concerned about the workload that lies ahead for my children’s academic path. I have such extremely opposite situations in my household between my artistic child who cries through most homework sessions, my honor roll student, and my two homeschooled little ones. As always, I celebrate the many colors of my diverse family!!!

Disneyland is always a sensory overload experience for me, but my kids went nuts!  I have never been there during the holidays.  The entire park was decorated in lights, the castle was topped with snow and even “It’s A Small World” (my favorite attraction) changed its music to Christmas carols.  It was gorgeous and added another level to our holiday spirit.  We were lucky enough to run into Mickey, which is always an exciting moment for me.

 

You’re never too old for Mickey!

Have you ever revisited something that you experienced as a child and were surprised how far off your memory was?  I rode the Matterhorn with my daughter and was blown away by how small the Abominable Snowman was.  I remember him being 15 feet tall and terrifying! Rain and I rode all the little attractions and challenged David and Shaya to best scores on the Toy Story ride.

We won!

I faked out some friends on Twitter with this pic, asking….”Anyone know where I am?”

We finished our long day at California Adventure.  We had to choose between fireworks and Tinker Bell and the new water show called Color My World.  We went with the water show, which was like the Vegas Bellagio water attraction on steroids.  Amazing!!!

One of my best memories that will stay with me a long time was the loving look on Rain’s face.  She turned and me and said, “I think I’m going to cry, Mommy.”  The tears were not because the night was coming to an end, it was from the beauty she could recognize.  That blows me away at her tender age.  I wish my 11-year-old could be moved like that.  But maybe one day rocket science will touch her too!

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