Location: Disney World, November 2013
We got the pink monorail. That’s the one that’s good luck, or so my family has always thought. I’m sure every family has their own favorite color monorail, but ours was definitely the pink one.
On the monorail, it’s almost a law that you’re supposed to talk to the people around you. We chatted it up with a couple across from us. They were so excited about their day at the Magic Kingdom, as were we.
The husband and Henry hit it off, talking about Henry’s Star Wars shirt. The monorail driver actually came into the door and said, “Trivia of the day: What is going to happen on December 18, 2015?”
Naturally, I – the person who has never seen a full Star Wars movie – knew that it’s the date that Star Wars Episode 7 comes out.
The husband and Henry continued to discuss the differences between a Lucas Star Wars and a JJ Abrams Star Wars. They talked about R2D2 and Wookies and things I don’t even know about.
And then we were there.
We walked with the couple to the ticket area and then parted ways.
A few minutes later, they made their way back to where we were sitting on the brick wall. It was still about 30 minutes until the park opened and so we sat and talked more.
He is currently in the Army, having served for several years domestic and overseas. She had previously worked at Disney and told us fun things to look for.
There was more Star Wars talk. I whispered to Henry that he should give the guy one of his pins that he had on his pin trading lanyard. He foo-foo’ed me. But a few minutes later, I saw him fumbling to get the R2D2 off his lanyard.
He walked over to the guy, reached his hand out shyly, and said, “Here.”
Of course, the girl said, “Awwwww” and then he realized that my child had reached out to hand him one of his favorite pins. He kinda teared up and muttered a thank you.
A few minutes later, the guy said he was going to run grab a map and time sheet for the day. He was gone a while and finally his wife realized it. When he returned, he handed us the maps and held out his hand to Henry.
“I got you something buddy. When I was about your age, my grandparents brought me to Disney World. My grandfather wanted me to ride Space Mountain with him but I was scared. I didn’t want to ride it, but he told me to be brave and give it a shot. I thought this pin might help you be brave enough to ride it today.”
By then, he was tearing up, his wife was tearing up, and Jason and I were tearing up. It was a sweet moment between two strangers found they had something in common.
It was time for the park to open. With some magical singing, some fake confetti, we were off. Separating with hugs, a few hand shakes, and full hearts. Pinned with a memory that will stick around for years to come.
All before 9am.
Henry rode Space Mountain that morning. And when he got off, he said, “I think my new friend would be proud of me for riding this.”
Yes, buddy. Yes he would.
This is my installment for Just Write, hosted by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary.