This year my brother and sister-in-law decided that when their nieces and nephews turn 12 they want to take them to Disney World for a long weekend. My oldest is their oldest niece and this year she turned 12. She just got back from her solo trip with her aunt and uncle and oh what a trip it was.
They hit six parks in three days. They went on every water ride available… some of them twice…. even after they’d dried off from the first round. She saw two fireworks shows, met at least a dozen characters and drank Butter Beer in Hogsmeade. It was quite the weekend.
As I looked through her pictures (photoshow coming later for those who know us) I didn’t just see all the fun she was having and all the cool rides and places she went. I saw the smiles and the goofing around and the jokes between K and her aunt and uncle. The real gift here wasn’t just an amazing trip – it was the time to bond. She got to know her aunt and uncle as people, not just relatives or the parents of her adorable cousins. They got to spend some one-on-one time with her and see the personality that is really starting to shine. It was a great weekend for many reasons but the one that makes me smile the most is knowing that she is building a relationship that will mean something for her entire life. That is one fantastic birthday present.