"" Writer's Wanderings: Heroes

Monday, February 14, 2005


We just spent the week visiting the Mouse in Orlando. There were 15 family members on the last leg of the trip aboard the Disney Cruise ship the Wonder. Our niece is one of the entertainment crew members and we were there to support, cajole, and generally let her know she's loved as well as enjoy our granddaughter's first trip to the World and the Wonder.

Throughout the World and the Wonder little girls of all ages are addressed as "princess" and most wear the costumes of Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Sleepting Beauty, etc. They stand in line with their parents (or are carried if they don't walk yet) to garner a signature from the Disney characters. The Princess characters, however, are the main attraction. What little girl doesn't dream of being a princess?

All of this seems a little one sided to me. Where are the male heroes? The ones who rescued all those princesses? Why aren't we promoting them with costumes and signature books? Well upon examination, I realized that most little boys would not dress to look like Peter Pan, Prince Charming, or even Mr. Incredible (that would require tights). Moreover, their fathers would not let them dress that way.

Finally, in my search for heros and heroines, I found they wore costumes made of everyday stuff--jeans, shorts, T-shirts. They were the ones who took a vacation with the family and found themselves exhausted from giving their kids the best time they could in a world of fantasy and dreams. One father commented on the bus to the airport, "It was great. I'm tired. But it was worth it."

And it is.

We watched our child play with his child and become a child again. He exchanged memories with his brother of long-ago vacations as children. Who would have imagined that what we did in the moment to entertain and please them as children would have lasted as fond remembrances of shared experiences? It almost made me feel like a princess again as I walked next to Mr. Incredible (in jeans, not tights).

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