By Donna-Louise Bishop
He knew he was a long way from home.
It was the music that did it. Big speakers blasted out trumpet melodies, twinkly piano chimes, razzmatazz and pizzazz.
He stood wide-eyed and open-mouthed, his innocent two-year-old peepers gazing at everyone and everything. In all the excitement he was barely able to put one foot in front of the other without tripping over. His mum was grateful for the travelators that carried them safety to their destination – Disneyland Paris.
The word shouldn’t have had any impact on him but as a child living in the Disney era, it meant everything to him. Its message was everywhere – a little mermaid had sung it to him, a beast had growled it, an evil sorceress had delivered it in an apple, even an ice queen had let it go. There was no doubt about it, Disneyland was somewhere magical.
As they approached the entrance together, hand in hand, he waved his chubby fingers at a picture of Tinkerbell and then at a cartoon rabbit he didn’t know the name of. His mum smiled down at him.
“What’s that mummy?” he asked.
“That’s Thumper, sweetheart.”
“No mummy, it’s a bunny rabbit.”
“Ah, okay. It’s a bunny rabbit then.”
She smiled at this latest development of argumentativeness, while sending a silent prayer to the god of toddler tantrums. Please be on my side today, just for today, one day.
So much money and build-up for one special moment.
He may never remember his visit here but it will be worth it just to see the smile on his face when he meets Mickey Mouse, when he holds his new favourite toy in his arms, when he rides flying Dumbo, eats candy floss, ice cream and French fries.
A month’s wage on one special day. The bills can wait and the worry of not paying them can run alongside the need for food and fuel.
Yes, she thought to herself, totally worth it.