Monday, December 21, 2009

Through the eyes of a child - the magic of Christmas!

I don't know who had a better time on Saturday - Talia, Tati, or Oma.  The three girls went to see Disney on Ice at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.  Talia knew that she was going to have a special outing with Tati and Oma and that she was going to see a "show."  She'll be 4 in February, so a show to her is a movie in the living room!  When I picked her up at 9:30 a.m., she was all dressed up in holiday finery, excited, and ready to go.

We had a wonderful day of experiences for a 3 & 3/4 year old (she insists on the 3/4), a 50-something, and a 60-something (we insist on the "somethings").  We drove through LA Christmas traffic talking about how a show differs from a movie.  How do you explain these things to a preschooler?  All of a sudden, Talia shouted "city!" as we first caught sight of the tall, tall buildings in downtown LA.  She's a gal from the suburbs - cities are pretty exciting!

We parked and asked Talia if she wanted to walk to the Staples Center (a short 1/2 block) or take the shuttle.  She opted for the shuttle and delighted in the "crazy driver" who turned corners a little too quickly for her to maintain her balance.  The giggles and grins were enough to make my day .... and there was more to come.

You can enter one hour before showtime and visit the Disney princess exhibit.  If you are lucky enough to have a little girl in your life between the ages of 2 and 14, you know that Disney princesses are all the rage.  We saw Belle's dress (from Beauty and the Beast), Show White's costume, and - ta da! - Cinderella and Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) were actually there!  They smiled, they waved, they blew kisses - and brought delight to all the little girls and boys, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors who were enjoying this holiday treat.

Talia caught sight of the popcorn booth and insisted on popcorn.  The box was half as big as she is!  She wouldn't let me carry it for her, so lugged that box halfway around the Staples Center until we found our seats.  Tati went to buy lunch, and Talia and I settled in for the start of the show.  They announced a countdown to showtime and Talia stared at my watch intently waiting for the time to click down - 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute until showtime.  Tati brought lunch, the lights went down and ----- Mickey and Minnie Mouse skated out to great us!

I don't have the words to describe the look of wonder on Talia's face as she experienced her first live show with characters that she knows and loves.  Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, Simba, Tinkerbell.  We almost skipped a potty break at intermission because she was afraid she would miss the start of the second half!  She laughed, she cried a bit (why did they choose to do the stampede scene from The Lion King?), she waved at Sebastian, shouted at Skar, and jumped up and down when Tinkerbell flew!

I know I'll get gifts on Christmas from my wonderful family.  They'll be thoughtful, beautifully wrapped, carefully chosen, and given with love.  They'll also understand when I say that no gift that I receive this Christmas will be more precious to me than the look on Talia's face when she first saw Ariel skate onto the rink.  There is no gift greater than the look of joy, wonder, and magic on the face of a child, especially a child that you love!

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