A few Saturdays ago, the weather here turned cold. In Orlando, “turned cold” means the high was in the low 70’s. When this happens, there’s only one thing to do: go visit the Animal Kingdom. Cold weather is the best time to go, as the animals are all much more active. It’s also much easier to relax when you’re not suffering from a mild heat stroke.
The best show at Animal Kingdom is the Lion King show. Actually, I’d go so far as to say that this is the best show in all of the Disney Parks. The show itself takes place primarily in the center of a large circular building that looks vaguely like a circus tent. It is filled with costumed dancers, acrobats, trapeze artists, singers, giant animatronic animals… There’s even a guy that juggles fire.
It’s pretty much everything you could want in a circus, crammed into one fast-paced (but still comprehensible) show. For us, it’s a must-see when we visit the park.
For one reason or another, we haven’t been to the Animal Kingdom for several months. The last time we went, in fact, N was less than 2 years old. Now he’s 28 months, and what a difference the extra months have made.
He stood on my lap as we watched the show. I had my fingers laced in front his chest to steady him, and he leaned forward into my hands as he watched, completely captivated. He spent the whole show like that, laughing, ooh’ing, pointing, and occasionally shouting “look, look!”
I don’t think he blinked once during the whole thing.
No, that’s not true. During the fire juggler’s act, he clapped his hands to the sides of his head and squeezed his eyes closed, saying “scary, daddy. Scary!”
I reassured him, of course, and he spent the rest of that act holding on to my thumb. He probably would have held the whole hand, but it was supporting his chest as he leaned into it.
I looked over at J to try to catch her eye, but she had C sitting in her lap, equally captivated.
There are so many big things in my life to be thankful for – and I am – but for some reason it’s these small moments that really come to mind this year when I think of Thanksgiving. It sounds sappy, and it probably is, but there’s nothing like those brief moments of pure unfiltered happiness, magnified (in my case) by the hearts of a couple of toddlers.