So, back in March my father in law announced that he wanted to take the whole family to Disney World. Our family, my wife’s sister and her family and my in-laws. Twelve people total. He insisted on paying for the park tickets, rooms, meal plans, etc. which was an awesome offer since it turned out to be about a $10,000 trip.
We left out at midnight on Friday the 23rd and got back the next Sunday. Now that it’s over and we all survived, all I can say is….
Damn you, Mouse. Damn you to hell.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. But it was an awesome opportunity to put some of our Big Dick philosophies into practice. So, here’s what I learned.
1. Men have got to take the lead.
I need to explain a bit about our family dynamic. My wife is a stay at home mom. Her sister is a high level civilian employee with the Air Force. Her husband is a really nice guy. You would enjoy having a conversation with him. But the truth is, sister is in charge and it is wearing her out.
This trip was supposed to be her chance to relax. Everything was planned and paid for. The grandparents were there to babysit their two year old. All she was supposed to do was show up and have fun with her kids.
But guess what happened? Disney World is freaking chaotic. It’s non-stop running and on the fly decision making. And all she got from her husband was, “Whatever you want to do dear.” He made it clear from day one that he was there to push the stroller in whatever direction she pointed him.
So, sister-in-law was miserable and stressed the whole time. Brother-in-law just wanted to go home.
How was it on our side? We loved it.
We loved it because we worked together to figure out exactly what we wanted. I made a lot of the tough decisions, especially the ones my wife feared would hurt someone’s feelings and I made sure I was active with the kids every minute of the trip. We split up quite a bit as our 7 year old just wanted to see the princesses and the older two wanted to ride the rides.
The contrast between the involvement of the husbands was so stark that my father-in-law actually brought it up to my wife, expressing how thankful they were that I was participating and enjoying myself.
2. Raising great kids is a long term project.
Every day you watch your children grow. A little at a time. They develop so slowly you almost don’t notice. That applies to their emotional development as well as their physical growth.
We are raising our kids in a very rural area; sandwiched between two small towns with a total population of less than 500. To put this in perspective, each day a single Disney World theme park has nearly 40,000 visitors, four times more people than our entire county.
This is not an environment that our kids are used to. We took an 11 year old, 9 year old and a 7 year old and threw them in the middle of a small city for 12 to 15 hours a day. Oh, and it was 95 degree heat and about 10 miles of walking each day.
And they were awesome.
They listened, they cooperated, and the whining and complaining was kept to a bare minimum the whole time. We never had to worry about where they were. They didn’t get overwhelmed by the crowds. They just followed the rules and had a great time.
Then they endured a 21 hour car ride home without a single complaint.
That doesn’t happen overnight. They endured a 10 day trip with 42 hours of driving and they did it with great flexibility and an upbeat attitude the whole time. It was a natural reaction for them. We’ve tried our damndest to raise them with those qualities and they proved themselves to be amazing kids.
3. Find time for sex when you can and accept when you can’t.
Never had sex in a hotel bathroom before.
It was somewhere between
“Kids, turn the TV on… Louder.”
“Honey, turn on the hair dryer while I get naked.”
And try to get done before the hair dryer causes heat exhaustion.
That was Saturday, on the drive down. The rest of the week, we were sharing a two room suite with three kids and mother in law. Sex wasn’t even a consideration and that’s okay. We were focused on other enjoyable opportunities for our family and marked “hotel bathroom sex” off our bucket list.
4. You appreciate things more when you are personally invested in them.
This was one of my few struggles on this trip. Father-in-law wanted to pay for everything. Again, a wonderful gesture, but I’m a strong proponent of the idea that people have a hard time really appreciating things that are completely free.
The whole family wanted to drive together, mainly so father-in-law could control paying for all the gas and hotel rooms. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but it was true. We didn’t like the travel schedule they wanted to keep, so we chose to go our own way (an example of stepping up and making a tough decision). We paid our own expenses, which ended up being around $700.
Sister’s family did not. They allowed the parents to pay for everything including every purchase at the parks. Father-in-law purchased the photo package where the park photographers take pictures for you and they are all saved to a website for you. It was a neat deal, done mostly for sister in law since my wife takes a thousand pictures anyway.
We downloaded the pictures and realized we had taken over 250 and sister had taken around 75. Father-in-law was not real happy that they hadn’t utilized something that he paid good money for.
Please understand, this is not a “we’re better than they are” post. It’s an exploration into how different mind sets can yield predictable results. Sister got an all expenses paid trip to Disney World and just wanted it to be over. We accepted the prepaid portion, paid our own way for the rest and had an awesome time.
This is not just a correlation issue, this is a causation issue.The structure of our two families is drastically different and it was very evident on this trip, almost painfully so.
The concepts we discuss here at the Big Dick Chronicles work. We are working hard to develop a healthy productive way to live our lives and it seems to be working.
5. Belle at the Akershus Restaurant has a voice that could make a man do some bad things.
This young lass is not bad looking; I certainly wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers, but that’s not the point. This woman had a voice. As the good daddy, I was holding all the autograph books when we stepped up to take our picture with her.
So I chatted with her for a minute while she signed the books. I’m pretty sure all she actually said to me was, “Oh, so you’re in charge of the autograph books, eh?”
But what I heard was, “You sexy stud. Responsible fathers get me hot.”
Hey, it could happen.
Afterwards, I immediately told my wife that Belle was my version of her infatuation with Sean Connery’s voice. I enjoy telling that story because I enjoy seeing my wife’s cheesy grin every time I admit that I’d gladly push an old woman in front of a Disney World bus if that woman asked me to.
Women, work on your sexy voice. When you get it right, you’re damn near irresistible.
I hope you all enjoy your summer. We managed to get ours off to a great start. The rest of the summer will be focused on naked pool time.