An outing with a typical Dad usually looks like a trip to the donut store or zoo. That's what I thought Ryan meant when he said he wanted to take Oliver out on a special trip. Negative.
He took him to Disney World for one day in Magic Kingdom. That's my guy. Thinking big, going for it, and pushing the "We can't do that" mentality out of our family. Since we've dated, Ryan has talked to me about how he wants to take special trips one-on-one with any children we had. He's seen the power of present father (and in working with so many young adults seen the depletion of the opposite). Ryan's always said from the get go, starting at a young age, he wants our children to be comfortable being alone with him. It may seem early for a trip like this, but the reality is Oliver's brain is setting patterns right now. Ryan wants the practice of holding conversation together to be done at a young age. Time with Dad should feel normal and special. I so admire this about Ryan. Ladies, I can't say it enough, you don't just marry your future husband. You marry the father of your future children. The Dad I dreamed Ryan would be is exactly the Father he is.
In Ryan's Heart there were two goals for Ryan's Dada Trip with Oliver:
1. Get Oliver on an Airplane (Oliver loves airplanes. Also we really value giving our children travel life-skills.)
2. Spend time alone just the two of them. A special "boy time".
After researching, we decided on Disney as the destination. The deal was the best. The flight semi short, Ryan knows Disney in and out, and with their shuttle service that meant no traveling with a car seat. So, using our travel points, the trip was booked (Three days, two nights) and off they went.
Day one - Flight
Day two - Magic Kingdom
Day three- Flight *Side note to the moms who are saying, "No Way!". I had the same thoughts. I gave Ryan allllll my "But what if...." "What will you do if...." and everything inbetween.
But here's the deal. They'll figure it out! Ryan as the Dad, Oliver as the son. They'll work together and figure it out. (And they did!) Yes, sleep schedules will be thrown out the window, and food will be consumed that you'd never allow. Meltdowns will happen and things forgotten. But at the end of the day, memories will be made and bonds will be reinforced. Something can always "go wrong", but if you live your life playing the what if game you'll never leave your house. Ryan balances me well in this way. He helps me "go for it!"
Here are a few pictures... Ryan didn't take too many because I had him promise me he wouldn't take his eyes off our wiggly Oliver for one second, even to look at his phone. (And every mom amens as they know the speed of a toddler lol) They had an amazing day and rode 15 rides! (A few multiple times). Goofy's barnstormer roller coaster, Peter Pan, and Winnie the Pooh were Oliver's favorites. Oliver also did really well with his mask. We practiced a lot at home the week before and made sure to let Oliver pick out his own. (Disney "small" are really good for toddler faces)
Eleanor and I had our own "Mama-and-Me" Day together, shopping, doing a Disney photoshoot in honoring the boy's day at Disney, and having lots of extra rocking, giggles and attention.
So dads! No pressure for Disney, but start somewhere having some alone time with your kid. Maybe it's doing bedtime just you and then. Maybe a breakfast at IHOP or a day playing at the park together alone. If you aren't ready for a total solo dad day, get a few dad buddies together and practice that way. Or maybe you're ready to go big, rearrange some budgets and go camping or get a hotel for the night. Right now - text a buddy, talk to your wife, set it on the calendar. Time alone with Dad, son or daughter will always pay off BIG dividend into your family.
***If you run into Ryan in person, ask him about the trip yourself. He has LOTS of fond things to talk about regarding his passion and experiencing regarding this. I offered for him to write the blog but we both agreed I might do it a little more concisely :) To my Ryan : THANK YOU for being you. You are such a gift to our family. I love you forever and admire your commitment to the call God's given you more than you'll ever know.
To our Oliver : You are a GREAT traveler and amazing kid! Dream big! Happy Adventures, Abby
***Don't forget... The Cirkles are Cheering you on!