Disappointment but not Dispair

We have been planning our spring break trip for over a year. At first, it was going to be another Disney cruise the entire time, but in September, Matthew and I had the idea of changing it to a shorter cruise and surprising Keaton at Christmas with going to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios before the cruise. Keaton was beside himself with excitement. Let’s be honest, we were all excited. We are a Disney family and not afraid to admit it.

So as “the virus” started to be an issue we first focused on the cruise. Last Friday we decided to save it for another time and told Keaton we had the chance to do an extended time at the parks instead of the cruise. He was so excited. As the days have gone by and the amount of information (or more like misinformation) we kept saying we should be good… honestly I deflected to Matthew on the decision because my anxiety has been in overdrive and I didn’t want to make a decision based on it.

Today when Disney gave the option of rebooking for 2020 without penalty, Matthew said we should do it. We both knew it was the right decision. We both knew we didn’t want to get stuck in another state, and we both knew we don’t want to contribute to spreading. I knew telling Keaton was not going to be fun.

When I picked him up, we went straight to the book fair. Knowing I was about to tell him his Disney Dreams were going to be put off until Thanksgiving (a lifetime for a six-year-old), I offered to buy him four books instead of the two agreed upon purchases. As we were walking to the car I told him the news. His face told me all his feelings and he kept it together until we got into the car and then the sobbing started. I didn’t blame him and I told him it was understandable to cry and be disappointed.

As I drove home with him crying and me feeling horrible, I gained perspective. As much as I hate for my kid to be disappointed, this disappointment is a privileged disappointment. I in no way fault my son for this, I don’t fault me or Matthew. But tonight, as I reflect my heart hurts and tears fill my eyes.

I cry not because my son has to wait for his magical adventure. I weep because, down the street, there is a mother weeping because she has no clue how she is going to pay for rent or food since her job is in jeopardy with the closures. I weep because so many in our nation, state, and town are not only fearful of a virus, they are fearful of how they will continue to have a place to live or money to eat.

While I will miss March Madness, if the games are played or not has no bearing on my livelihood, yet it does for so many. Many of us complain of an inconvenience when for others, the fear is about their basic needs.

People complain as schools are shut down because they will be stuck with their kids for one, two, or three weeks, when other parents weep because they have no clue how they will feed their family without the school breakfast and lunch.

Is our family disappointed? Absolutely!  Will I make my son feel bad about it? Not at all, it is a normal reaction. But let us not confuse disappointment with dispair. As much as disappointment is not fun, it in no way is close to despair… as we continue down many roads of uncertainties, may we have the perspective to know the difference and be grateful if our experience is one of disappointment, not dispair.


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