Light Notes

Herding grandkids in Disney

Bill and I are vacationing with extended family in Florida, and it’s been like herding cats.

Little ones. Big ones. Each with their own agenda at Disney Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

First off, 5-year-old grandson Hunter felt called to live up to his name and promptly disappeared into the jungle. Frantic parents followed suit.

In the meantime, twin sister Hailey, autograph book in hand, veered up a trail determined to capture the huge mouse she’d just spied. Anxious grandparents stepped lively in hot pursuit.

Later, when we finally had Mickey Mouse cornered, he darted off on break to nibble cheesecake, leaving us to explain to two teary 5-year-olds that this really was the “happiest place on earth.”

By then, the teens saw their chance for escape and texted their way across the theme park messaging, “brb!” In the time it took for us to figure out what that meant, they were long gone.

Evidently, grandson Justin and granddaughter Ashley couldn’t wait to leave the screaming chaos behind — preferring roller-coaster screaming chaos instead. At least if they’d have stuck with us they could have enjoyed their lunch longer.

Honestly, with 12 people in our group — including aunts and uncles — it’s been harder to keep track of everyone than I’d thought. After 72 restroom stops in the first 15 minutes and three attractions by noon — one of which was a bathroom with no line — we were ready for a catnap. But not the kids. They just kept on scampering.

It’s been quite a challenge. And this is only the first day.

Our only hope for this week in Orlando — besides using cell phones — is that the children will stay close and follow us. The last thing we need this week while we’re in Florida is for someone to get lost.

So, with several days of theme parks ahead, I think I’ll send up a prayer or two. Surely, God has a pretty good perspective about loved ones being lost. For years, he’s wanted the whole world to follow him, but so far it must be like… well, like herding cats.