Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Exhausted and Happy

I took my son to Disneyland. Just me and him. Free for me (free on your birthday this year) and free for him (under three). Our day at there was to-the-bone exhausting, yet totally worth it. On some rides, I had more fun looking at his face captivated by wonder than by the ride itself. I was so proud of how he adapted to the line thing- no stroller and waiting for 30+ minutes to get to the ride we had our eyes on. Everyone has their whole take on the Disney experience. Some people see it as all about marketing, or as something inauthentic, etc etc. I see the embodiment of imaginations coming together to create an experience, an all encompassing experience, and it’s so detailed from entry to exit, with all the rides in between, that I really feel the imagineers’ work come alive. It’s a multi-faceted thing for me, and I love trying to appreciate how each ride was created. But when I was there with Z, there was less of that & more of embracing an experience for him. We went to his favorite rides that he fixated on beforehand (Tiki Room & Jungle Cruise, in a serendipitous way located next to each other.) I held him a lot while in lines, much to the protest of my left arm. I powered through his extreme pre-nap tantrum until he collapsed into me, a little sweaty lump. I loved my time with him. Had I known the deep exhaustion that would follow 12 hours on my own at Disneyland with an almost 3 year old, I’d still have gone. But it’s not something I’d recommend without a warning: every part of your body will ache deeply at the end of the day!

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