Out of all the stories I could tell about the Disney cruise I just returned from, I didn’t think this would be it. I thought it would be about how everyone on the cruise knew me by “Number 19!”, or how one night, my husband had far too much to drink and somehow, mysteriously, nearly broke his pinky finger. That particular story may be lost to the sea. I thought a more worthy piece to write would be on whether or not the cost of a Disney cruise is worth it, as they are far more expensive than the other cruise lines out there, or how many clothes you really need to take (so many articles say to pack half as much as you think you need… we ALL RAN OUT. THAT SHIT’S A LIE), or even the story about how a dolphin peed on me– but none of those are the memory I keep coming back to the most.
It’s such a small story, no big epic sweeping drama, or life-altering realizations, but if it’s something I can’t get my mind off of, I think it’s worthy of sharing with you– because it’s a moment of “Wow, people don’t all suck after all”, and I think we could all use more of those moments right now.
This Disney trip of ours wasn’t just any Disney trip, it was to celebrate not only the boys birthdays, but mine and Thomas’ 10 year wedding anniversary, so I guess you could say I was in more of a giving mood than I’d usually be. Or… more than I like to pretend to be but usually can’t help myself when it comes to Disney gear.
STILL- Parker is the king of frivolous purchases, so on day one when he found a baseball cap in a store at Epcot and insisted he absolutely had to have it, I was like “no.”
This is the kid who insisted he needed sunglasses and never wore them. Insisted he wanted this plastic stegosaurus from the thrift store only to put it in his donation pile a week later. To put it frankly: he buys shit he never uses. And this wasn’t just some $1 thrift store dinosaur, or $5 Wal-Mart cap– this was a $24 with tax Disney baseball cap.
ONLY get this if you plan on ACTUALLY wearing it- I tell him.
You need to be SURE you love this- I told him.
Not just at Disney but at home, too- I insisted.
THIS NEEDS TO BE SURGICALLY IMPLANTED TO YOUR SKULL– I didn’t actually say this one, but I implied it. He knew I meant business if he was going to have us shelling out serious cash for a baseball cap when the kid has never worn a baseball cap in his life. But he wasn’t leaving without it… and to be honest, it looked damn good on him.
Is that hat just made for him, or what?
Though he’s never heeded my words and warnings and insistence before, he actually listened and wore that hat everywhere. I think he even fell asleep in it a few times. He loved the hat so much that he needed to be reminded to take it off for meals (um, hello? manners!)
We hopped on the cruise with the hat, and with the sun bearing down and no trees to block it, the hat was perfect. He went to the kids club while me and Thomas played trivia (and lost every. single. game). We had meals, went in the pools and the hot tub, and the hat went everywhere.
And then came day 3 of the cruise. He wore the hat to the beach, and only took it off to avoid getting it wet. He left it next to our stuff, which was placed on a beach chair under an umbrella with a cup full of shells he collected. Everything made it back to the boat once we’d left the island except the hat and the shells, and by the time we’d realized it, it was too late. There was no going back to look for it.
Cue meltdown. I didn’t give him too much of a hard time, as Thomas was the one who told him to remove his hat, and who also collected our stuff to bring in, so it was really the fault could be laid on anyone. There was no use arguing about it.
The glimmer of hope came in that Disney owns the damn island. The only people there were people on our boat, and employees. The kind folks at Guest Relations assured us that they comb the beach before picking up anchor, and if an employee found it, it would absolutely be returned. All would be right with the world again. We breathed a sigh of relief and went about our business, planning to return once they’d collected all the items and were ready for people to come and claim them.
Which we tried to do. Twice. Once that day, and once the next morning (our last full day on the cruise)- just to be absolutely sure. The hat was gone. Which means either it was swallowed by the island or someone else picked it up and kept it.
I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A POSITIVE STORY. UPLIFTING. THIS AIN’T THE END, I PROMISE.
Parker was upset, obviously. We took him through the shops on the ship once they opened to try and find a new one, and none of them clicked. He found one he kinda liked, but you know how it is– once you attach yourself to something you love, a replacement just isn’t the same.
Bummed, we sent him to the kids clubs with his brother and went off to the LAST round of trivia while we tried to decide what to do. By that point at the cruise, we recognize the crowd in the room. We’ve been playing trivia against these people the entire time, and we know who’s been whooping our asses, and who we can take down. We’d lost by 1-2 points every. damn. time. to one or two teams, and we were determined to win.
Almost everyone leaves immediately after, but we stick around to say our goodbyes to the cruise host we’d been torturing the entire time, and to chat with people (remember, I’m #19, PEOPLE KNOW ME).
The winning team approached our table, asking for a picture with us. I guess they wanted to remember repeatedly whooping our asses. After pleasantries exchanged and photos snapped, the cruise host walks up to the winning team with their prize- Disney Cruise baseball caps.
I AM NOT ONE TO ASK FOR FREEBIES– and maybe it was the drink I’d had during trivia talking– or the fact that it was the last day and I was desperate– but I pulled the cruise host aside and explained the situation and asked if he had an extra hat he might be willing to spare.
Before he can even respond, the winning team approaches us again, and offers up one of their hats– a special Disney Cruise hat you can’t buy on the dang boat (well, that I could find, and we scoured the stores) just for Parker. I was so shocked and thankful, I must have said thank you 100 times, and when we picked up Parker and presented it to him, his entire bummed out attitude was completely turned around by this tiny act of kindness from a random passenger on the cruise.
He had no reason to give us the one trivia he’d won, the special prize he’d received, but he did- because he could. Because he wanted to. Because not everyone sucks. As small as the moment was, even though he’s probably already forgotten outside of that one random snapshot he took, it’s those small moments that prove the world is still SO fill of good. There’s never a bad time to be reminded of that.
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