My fourteen year old son, Casey has gone to Disneyland this weekend for the second time in his life and I’m not with him. I learned from our first trip seven years ago that I’ve become a full-fledged, no-holds-barred grown up. And there’s no escaping this reality no matter how hard I try.
Understand that I've always been one of those Moms. By 'one of those,' I mean the kind of Mom who tries to participate 100% in the lives of her children. I kick off my shoes, roll up my sleeves and experience life as they experience it (therapist-speak for: I still see myself as twelve years old.)
I've always loved good roller coasters; ones with sharp drops or corkscrews or full-on loop de loops. And in my mind, that was still true. However, in the physical reality of my post childbirth life...not so much. The pathetic fact is this: It doesn't matter if it's the Matterhorn or your basic, no frills merry-go-round, I'm woozy within seconds of the safety bar being secured...suddenly bearing a striking resemblance to Mr. Toad of Mr Toad's Wild Ride.
On our last trip, I was transformed into the kind of Mom I'd hoped I never would become: the observer Mom. The Mom that says to her family: "You go on and have fun. I'll meet you at the exit." Now, the politically correct...or should I say, parentally correct... rationalization of my chagrin is actually also the truth. I will treasure the looks of sheer delight on their faces every time they came off a thrilling ride. But when I divided the number of delighted looks into the cost of four 'three-day park-hopper' tickets, I couldn't help feeling a little bit short changed.
It was then and there that I decided Disney needed to borrow a page from its own history. Remember the famous E ticket? Well I think it's high time Disney established the M ticket. "M" ostensibly stands for "Moms"...but it really stands for Manicures, Massages and Margaritas. The M ticket would be issued ever so discreetly as Moms walk into the park.
So while those I love most in the world anticipate bobsledding through the legendary Matterhorn, I duck into a quiet room shimmering with the soft glow of aromatherapy candles and allow the gentle sounds of a rain forest to soothe my soul as Sven, a superior Swedish massage therapist, works on my ever-aching neck and shoulders
While my children dare their hastily devoured corndogs to stay down while spinning on the Mad Hatters Teacups, I'll be sipping a lovely cup of Chamomile tea accompanied by an assortment of scones with Devonshire cream and lemon tartlets.
The most popular ride in all of Disneyland is Space Mountain. It makes me queasy just writing the words. Here the M ticket alternative will be spiritual renewal in the 'Give Me My Space' Yoga Retreat. While hordes of non-Moms hurtle blindly through the alien darkness, we'll be energizing our inner beings in the postures of Downward Facing Dog and Sun Salutation.
And the Grande Finale to the M ticket day? Picture a combination of the best elements of the Jungle Cruise and the Pirates of the Caribbean with a little Indiana Jones excitement thrown in for good measure. Imagine chiseled Cabana boys performing revitalizing foot reflexology on my lovely size sevens, palm fronds fanning my face while I recline in a retractable, cushioned, vibrating lounge chair and enjoy a romantic film starring George Clooney (preferably in a tuxedo).
So there you have it. I'm sure after my marketing pitch to Disney Inc. it will only be a matter of time until it becomes available to the general Mom population. Now if only I could get Walt to return my calls.