So I am back from the fourth straight day of touring the Disney theme parks here in Orlando, Florida. Parts of it have been fun – parts of it have not. The next two days will be spent at a location that I added to this trip. If I was going to Disney for four days, we were all going to Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center for two days. But – that’s for a later post. Let’s stick with Disney for the moment.
Spirits of the Land
As I stated in my last post, its really rough getting the attention of the Spirits of the Land around this year – much less even feeling out where they must be. Just a few short days around here – and its fairly obvious why. The teeming mass of humanity, all uber-focused on their own needs and gratification, leaves very little room for anything in the arena of caring about or or the land. This small and highly concentrated mass of amplified consumerism can take its toll on even the most balanced of individuals. I know it has done so to me. Sitting here at my laptop, I feel so disconnected to the world around me here. Almost as if the Disney theme parks become a suspension of that connection I feel to my environment. Or perhaps that this environment is so antithetical to the environment that I have nurtured and cultivated back in Texas – that it is difficult for me to find enough similarities between the connective measures to be of any use.
Observations on Parenting Inside Disney Theme Parks
I am, admittedly, a people watcher. I observe behaviors of all types in many people. And Disney made for some interesting watching. As I noted in my previous post, there were many examples of rampant gimme-gimme consumerism on display throughout the various gift shops on the parks. However, there were also displays of parents that were at their wits-end with their small children. Perhaps the most horrific scene came tonight as we made our way out off Epcot. Just outside the Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase, we stumbled across a stroller that was stopped with the mother kneeling in front of the stroller and face-to-face with the small boy sitting inside of it. “You do not tell me that I cannot hit you on the top of the head when you are acting up! I am responsible for your actions! If I want to hit you on the head, I can do that anytime I like!” A young man bending over at one side of the stroller told the young lad in an equally stern voice: “…if I want to smash your face in, I can do that whenever I feel like it.” The woman added: “Yes, he can. Your uncle can do that anytime he likes! Now stop crying!”
Its been a long time I was single digits in age, but if I had two adults yelling at me like that in public, while strangers openly gawked and watched in horror – I would likely be crying as well. Thankfully, none of us had to get involved, as two Park Security folks quickly approached the little group and escorted them over to a sitting alcove for a little discussion. But this was evident in many other places as well, where hot, tired, and hungry children acted out – and hot, tired, hungry, and frustrated parents lashed back in some semblance of anger.
Now, I am not a judge of individual character – because I am only making observations here – not trying to determine whether these parents were fit or not in their actions. And I cannot say for certain what I would or would not have done if I were in their roles. But it was certainly obvious that the hot temperatures and a lack of proper hydration played significant factors throughout these scenarios.
Sunrise at Last!
This morning was the first sunrise I managed to be awake for. It was a bit of a let-down though – because so many condos are in the way of seeing the sun coming up over the horizon. However, I got to sit back and watch the sky slowly melt from dark into a creamy eggshell white (there was cloud cover too) with touches of pink salmon, and egg-yolk yellow peeking through various little holes in the cover. Sunset was no less spectacular. In Texas, I am used to seeing a dark, blood-orange blob slowly drop beneath the western horizon. However, while at Epcot and headed back to the car, we watched the bright-yellow, hazy blob dip down behind the tree-line, and eventually slip beneath the curve of the earth – allowing the darkness to come forward. Not nearly as dramatic as the view I have from my front door…but beautiful in many different ways.