Picturing the Future of Our Children (Literally)Tracey Clark
At a recent Disneyland Parks event, I had no idea I would be picturing the future of our children. Or at least of my children. It all happened when my Disney Sisters and I had the opportunity to learn about some of the amazing educational programs that Disney Youth offers. Yes, we love Disney and yes, we are really sisters, but, I digress. During our orientation, where we were given a behind the scenes look at some of the amazing things that are offered in the programs, our knowledgeable (and gracious) guides showed us a photo on the wall of the exhibit room as we were waiting to be seated for the presentation of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. It was an old black and white of Walt, arm in arm with a school friend. All grins, Walt (pictured on the right) was dressed up as Abe Lincoln. Needless to say, it was a telling tie in with the show we were about to see. The photograph was one of those quintessential childhood moments captured perfectly; the 2 boys dressed up for a school performance, not unlike those I’ve taken of my own kids over the years. I guess that’s why it resonated so profoundly. I had heard that Walt had always held great admiration for Abraham Lincoln, even as a young boy in Illinois, but seeing it illustrated in the photograph and then walking in to see perhaps the most accomplished ode to one of Walt’s boyhood heroes was a major light bulb moment for me. Imagine! The people, places and/or things that our children are introduced to today (their interests, passions, hobbies, heroes) might very well be the precursors to what they will nurture and perhaps develop as adults traveling along both their personal and even career paths.
All of the sudden every picture I have ever taken of my kids playing dress up or donning a uniform, or enjoying a specific event or occasion began playing through my mind. My oldest dressed up as scientist, playing with her make shift chemistry set at 7 years old. My youngest dancing her own “ballet” as her sister practiced piano lessons or the pictures I captured of her first guitar lesson. The wildly entertaining movies they’ve created together as director and set dresser or script writer and narrator run through my head. Any of these seemingly insignificant moments could actually be the ones I/we look back on to trace the first stirrings of their future passions. It gives me a brand new perspective and appreciation for all of these potentially telling moments!
My sisters and I stood there in awe as we internalized how important it is to not only pay attention to but to foster and nurture the things that matter to our kids. Not that we don’t already, but somehow, it all seemed a little more important, more imperative than it had before. There’s no telling what our children will grow up to achieve but remembering that with Walt Disney, it all started with a mouse, and perhaps even before that, a simple yet profound performance of Abe Lincoln, reminding us that even in the smallest things, the biggest, most magical things can happen.
For more about what we learned about the Disney Youth Programs, take a peek at what we shared at Disney Sisters.
For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at traceyclark.com.
For the story about how she and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.
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