It has become a recent family tradition to go to Disneyland every year after Thanksgiving. My older brother, who is both unmarried & completely single, has no children of his own to lavish his money & attention. Therefore, he turns to my sister’s children, to whom he spoils like crazy. I never imagined my brother to be so good with kids, but he is an absolutely wonderful uncle.

Even though he spoils my nephew & niece rotten, he also helps them with homework, teaches them about various things with patience, & helps my sister cook meals for all of them. He is a great role model, but also a slightly naughty uncle spoiling the kids with sweets & frequent trips to the shopping mall. As for me, I’m more of a “motherly” aunt. I also teach these kids manners & teach them about life lessons. I also play with them, help them get dressed, & take baths. My nephew even told me once that he thought of me as his second mom.

Usually I am not a fan of theme parks. I don’t like to ride roller coasters or other theme park rides. I get motion sickness rather easily, & a nearly critical childhood accident traumatized me against getting on rides at theme parks. That memory still haunts me to this day. My family thinks I’m overreacting, but I don’t really mind it at all. My nephew & niece are learning how to ride more advanced rides at the theme park, & they always want the entire family to ride along with them. I always make an excuse not to ride them such as, taking photos with my camera or carrying everyone’s jackets and bags. I will often stand in a ride’s line with everyone so we can all be together, then when we reach the front of the line, I will quietly walk out of the exit door & wait for them outside of the ride.

Not being a fan whatsoever of roller coaster rides has turned me off from going to theme parks, even if they do have fun laser water musical shows, extravagant parades, & plenty of junk food. When I’m in a group who is planning on visiting a theme park, I find it hard to get excited about the event. Sometimes, I even dread it. However, seeing how my sister’s kids get so excited to visit Disneyland doesn’t make me cringe at the idea of going to a theme park. I love seeing the pure joy & smiles on their faces. However, it’s more than just going to Disneyland for these kids. My sister’s kids are deeply sentimental, & more than anything, they enjoy being surrounded by their close family & friends. Their most happiest times are spent with their mom, uncles (a.k.a. my brother & Jian), myself (their favorite aunt), & my mom (their favorite grandmother). These kids, especially my nephew, would rather be surrounded by all of us for the whole weekend doing everything together.

So, going to Disneyland (& California Adventure) the day after Thanksgiving has become a new found family tradition, thought up by my brother. This is my brother’s way of spending quality time with our family as well. He loves spending time with his mom, two sisters (although…he favors me more than our sister, due to a major sibling quarrel), nephew & niece, & spending time with Jian (whom he has gotten close to over the years). So, my brother does all of the planning: getting the park tickets for both Disney theme parks, booking hotel rooms, & making reservations at all the restaurants. We usually spend the entire weekend at Disneyland. My brother will try to book two side-by-side rooms or one large suite at one of the Disneyland resorts. Then, he will make lunch & dinner reservations in advance, so we will be guaranteed a table & not have to wait in line for 1.5 hours on the wait list. He also gets all of the theme park passes for all of us. My brother really spares no expense when it comes to our annual Disneyland tradition. Of course, we all try to help him with the costs, but my brother always insists on treating us all, just to see our little children happy & full of wonderful memories. To say that I’m excited to visit Disneyland this year is something new to me. I can’t wait to spend time with my most favorite children in the whole world, & to make more memories with them. It’s going to be fun. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“Up Up & Away” by KID CUDI