No one ever said that life would be easy; and life on the Spectrum
can be downright hard. Hopes are often dashed, dreams are abandoned, wishes
made with increasing skepticism and decreasing frequency. And yet… life is also
filled with magical moments that have a tendency to sneak up on you when you
least expect them.
It was Wednesday night and, as usual, my husband was
working. I lingered in the kitchen after the children had left the dinner table.
They went off to pursue their individual activities -- my daughter to polish
her nails and my son to sort through his ridiculously large collection of DVDs.
Meanwhile I indulged in my own guilty
pleasure: Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Newscast
Once a week Lou’s fans get together and chat online before,
during, and after the live show. Usually
he broadcasts from his Florida home but frequently he takes the show on the
road via his pc, treating viewers in “The Box” to virtual Disney field trips. With
my fellow “Box People” I’ve strolled Downtown Disney, had dinner at the Yacht
and Beach Club, cast off on the Disney Dream…even attended a ceremony at Disney’s
Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian!
This week Lou’s broadcast came to us from the Hub of the Magic
Kingdom Park. As dusk approached, the lights flickered on and Cinderella’s
Castle began to change colors from blue to purple to pink behind our host and his guests.
“Ooooh!” said The Box.
When the official podcast ended, Lou picked us up and began
walking. “We want to ride the TTA!” chanted The Box. But wait…an announcement! “The Magic, the Memories and You” show was
about to begin! Lou found a good viewing spot in front of the Castle and set us
carefully on a trash can. (Hey, we’re not too proud!) Together we watched as hundreds
of images shot by PhotoPass photographers that day were projected onto the
castle to the tune of "Let the Memories Begin."
“Ahhhh!” said The Box.
Next came the grand finale: the Wishes fireworks display.
Anticipating sentimental tears, The Box fumbled for tissues. I turned up the volume
on my pc to better hear the familiar music… Bump-Bump-Bump-Bump-Bump! In a
flash Billy was down the stairs and at my side.
“Mommy!” he said, excitedly, pointing to the screen. “WISHES!”
My boy is thirteen and almost as tall as I am. But if he
could at that moment, he would’ve happily sat on my lap! He settled for
dragging his chair as close as possible and throwing his arm over my shoulder. He
bounced excitedly in his seat as the Wishing Star shot upward and burst above
The Box was bouncing, too. “This is amazing!” “‘Wishes’
always makes me cry!” “Really, really wish I was at Disney right now!”
Day in and day out I repeatedly have to remind my son to use
language instead of gestures and sounds to express his thoughts. “Use your
words, Billy!” is my mantra. But for the
next ten minutes there was no humming, no scripting, no stimming…just my
Disney-loving boy laughing and singing the Wishes medley and calling out greetings
to the characters as they made their vocal appearances: “Jiminy Cricket!” “Pinocchio!”
“Peter Pan!” “Genie!” He waved his hands
in the air, not with the usual random flapping but in perfect time to the music
as he conducted an imaginary orchestra. With each crescendo, shells burst in
synchronized splendor on the screen and he threw his hands up and outward to
mimic the explosions. As the show neared the end there was a momentary lull in
the pyrotechnics. He reached over, held
my hand and sang to me in a voice strong and clear:
When you wish upon a
Makes no difference
who you are
Anything your heart
desires will come to you
When your heart is in
No request is too
When you wish upon a
Your dreams come true…
When the song ended, he wrapped his arms around my neck and
sniffed my hair, as is his habit. Then he pulled away and held my gaze for a
long time. Just before he ran off he said, “Mom, I want Walt Disney World…we go
to Walt Disney World, please!”
In the chat room the Box People made jokes about how “sappy”
and “dorky” we were for getting misty-eyed.
Everyone thanked Lou for the impromptu bit of Disney magic and marveled
at how the experience (and the technology) had the power to bring us together across
the miles. Well, let me tell you, the
distance between here and Georgia, or California, or Canada, or even Great
Britain is NOTHING compared to the vast and lonely territory that stretches
between a mother and child when that child is forever imprisoned in the world
Thank you, Disney, for your gift of magical wishes. And
thank you, Lou, for delivering the box.
The Many Adventures of a Disney-Lovin’ Spectrum Mom is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company or Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Disney Enterprises, Inc., its subsidiary, affiliated and related companies, as the case may be. For the official Disney website, visit disneyparks.disney.go.com