You know that moment when you realize that despite all your planning and the ridiculous amount of money you spent and your selfless intentions, that day you had been waiting for is blowing up in your face?
It’s disappointing right?
I was having that moment, at Sea World in San Diego this past Saturday. We’d spent well over $140 just to get into the park, not to mention the $50 on parking, lunch and snacks. Despite a good night’s sleep and an early start, the day had not been going great. Half way through the Shamu show (complete with baby orca swimming around with his mom–which made me positively swoon), Isa decided she was not interested in seeing the finale when she could be “swimming” in the spouts at the kid park we’d seen earlier. Begrudingly I left the show (and the adorable baby orca) to let my daughter play in the water, only to have her freak out once we got there and refuse to even get sprayed. Moments later, when she realized the Sesame Street characters were singing and dancing, she literally peed in excitement, and since swim diapers are more for show than anything else, most of that pee ended up running down my favorite maxi dress. It was right around this pee-drenched moment that I realized we’d left Isa’s shoes by the water and after a crazed five minutes of searching–during which I was sure she’d have ot remain shoeless for the remainder of the day–I finally found them tucked in a planter not far from where we’d left them.
After the Sesame Street show we realized a line had been forming to meet the characters. Of course it was long and slow moving. I decided to wait in that line while Mi.Vida took Isa to ride her favorite: Elmo’s Flying Fish. It seemed like a good plan until he returned less than five minutes later with a sobbing toddler who’d found it much too difficult to wait in line for the ride. At this point we both wondered if we should just cut our loses and leave the park, despite having a good two hours before we had to be home for Isa’s nap.
In a last ditch effort, Mi.Vida and I switched places and I attempted to stand in the Elmo’s Flying Fish line while Isa melted down on the concrete path of the queue for the entire twenty minutes we waited. Finally it was OUR TURN! and we rode the thirty second ride, which she enjoyed well enough. By the time we returned to Mi.Vida at the Sesame Street meeting place Cookie Monster and Zoe had left for the afternoon and Elmo was on a “water break.”
It was a long ten minutes until Elmo returned and it was our turn to finally meet him, during which Isa melted down twice. By the time we had reached the front of the line we were both sure the whole thing had been a huge mistake.
Except it wasn’t.
Isa’s face when we told her it was her turn to meet Elmo was worth all the drama of that day. She literally shook with excitement as Elmo came over to hug her. She ran into his arms, screeching with delight. Then she requested her picture be taken with the “whole family” and we happily obliged. She was so enamored of this giant walking, “talking” Elmo she could barely contain herself, which was evident in both the photo they took with my phone and the expensive one we bought in the trademarked Sesame Street frame.
Watching our daughter vibrate with excitement as she hugged her idol was everyone’s perfect moment that day.
For the rest of the weekend Isa gushed about meeting Elmo, about how her furry friend had given her “a smooch and a hug.” Over and over again she reminded us it had happened and I know the picture of her encounter will be a favorite keep sake for years to come.
And even if she never looks at it again, I know I will. And that picture will always transport me back to that perfect moment, when my daughter’s excitement made all the insanity before hand totally worthwhile.
For more of today’s Perfect Moments click here.