First to Fly the Coop One Last Fling Thing


My wife just posted this picture online and said, "Found this in some of my papers. ‪#‎happyplace‬"

We love Disneyland. That makes us unique, I'm sure... yeah... However, I never went as a kid. That was fine since I didn't expect to as most of my friends didn't either. It was too far away (we lived in Michigan) and it was too expensive. However, when the kids were younger, but old enough to appreciate it, we rustled up (barely!) enough money to make the trip. And Disneyland delivered. I thought "The Happiest Place on Earth" was just marketing hype. Nope. They nailed it. When I saw my kids there and how much fun they were having and how much fun we were having watching them have fun I realized, "Well done, Walt. Well done."

We'd love to go often, but with six of us there's no flying due to our penchant for having food in the fridge and a roof over our heads. Even with driving to save money it's still a spendy experience. Years ago, Kara and I went once for our anniversary and I remember the shock and disgust in my oldest daughter's voice as she protested; not able to comprehend how on earth we as parents could, or even would, go to Disneyland without the children. I think we disillusioned her and our high polish as parents wore off and the tarnish finally showed through. Kara's also gone several times with some of her teacher friends as a girls only thing, which has been good for her.

Now our oldest is preparing to leave the nest in a few months to serve as a missionary for two years in Chile. And from there college and life. We're gonna miss our big little guy. He's been such a joy to have in our lives and while we are happy with what he's doing with his life his absence will leave an empty space in our hearts. So we thought how fun it would be if we could all go to Disneyland one last time all together as a family. It's just not in the budget, though. However, I'm a "how can we do it?" vs. "we can't do it" guy. I think in solutions not problems. I mean memories come from actions not wishes, right? So I thought, what if we make a new family tradition? Some of my readers know about my Hookey Dates tradition I started with the kids several years ago. Well, what if we did one last big mega Hookey Date with just that kid and both parents before that child flies the coop? We may not be able to afford a full six person trip to Disneyland, but maybe we could manage a three person trip to Disneyland. So we're planning on doing this with each child before they head off on their own.

  • Adam's First to Fly the Coop One Last Fling Thing
  • Emily's Second to Fly the Coop One Last Fling Thing
  • Molly's Third to Fly the Coop One Last Fling Thing
  • Matthew's Last to Fly the Coop One Last Fling Thing

Each will be a separate, unique memory with each child that they got to have just with mom and dad, yet at the same time it will be the same activity that they will all have to share in common.

Wish us luck!

—How do YOU create memories with your children/family? What traditions, events, activities have you enjoyed together and/or what would you like to try as a family?—