Mickey Mischief

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but the last time I went to Disney World I was a toxic visitor.

I was 7. The trip was my First Holy Communion present – or just conveniently timed so the two events are linked in my mind. My memories of the religious ceremony are hazy – fever hazy – a white dress with a pink sash, a flower wreath settled on foam-curler ringlets, a honey ham, all my relatives.

I didn’t feel well. I didn’t want honey ham or jello mold or even dinner mints I’d have to sneak off the tray. I tried telling my mom – but she was busy changing a diaper or taking lemon squares out of the oven. Dad was talking and making drinks – he told me to run along and play.

I stumbled along and played, but without my usual impish vigor. After all the guests left I collapsed – pretty dress, curled hair, flower wreath and all – on the kitchen floor.

Chicken pox!

But we already had the trip planned – non-refundable flights, vacations forms completed and homework collected, park tickets. So I went to Disney and spread love and germs on Small World. My spots were natural camouflage on the Jungle Cruise

This trip I wasn’t contagious. It was quick; a last minute surprise getaway from St. Matt for our 5th Anniversary.* On the 4th of July St. Matt wanted to get to the park early and stay late to see the fireworks. Since we both know that I was not going to be able to handle 14 hours of straight ride-riding, it was a given I’d pack a book.

But which? I’d packed four different paper volumes and loaded a bunch onto Gilbert in preparation for the trip. Since I couldn’t make up my mind, I brought three: Tenth Grade Bleeds, Eyes Like Stars and Prophesy of the Sisters.

As we ferried over to the Magic Kingdom at 8:00 AM, I had a brainstorm. No, an inspiration. I had three great books by three fabulous authors, I was going to the most magical place in the world…. PHOTO OPPORTUNITY!**

It was like a reverse scavenger hunt. Instead of finding the books, I was finding fun places to photograph them. I scrambled all over the park feeling gleeful and mischievous. We got a few curious looks, but no one stopped or questioned us.

Of course, there was also ride-riding and confection eating and even some pausing to do some actual reading.

And there were fireworks too!

The only downside of the whole day was:

But this just means we’ll have to come back again soon.

*Have I mentioned lately that I have the BEST husband ever?
**St. Matt balked for all of 3 seconds, but I threatened him with the Tiki Room if he didn’t participate.

Mad for Vlad: Part 2

“July? Seriously?” he asked me.

“Yes, bud, July,” I answered.

“Are you sure?” Because he’s an all-knowing sixth grader and I’m just the teacher, he needs to double-check this.

“Well, I went to Heather Brewer’s website and it says pretty clearly that Tenth Grade Bleeds comes out July 9th.” I can say this without even a trace of sarcasm because I’ve had five years of practice.

“Man! July? I won’t even be in your class then!”

“You’ll still be allowed to read it,” I assured him.

“I know – but then we can’t talk about it. Man.” Student hangs his head, sighs, heads back to his desk and picks up his reading response journal.

A few minutes later he’s popped back over to visit. “I thought of two things.”

“Okay.”

“Well, maybe she’ll write faster and it will be out sooner.”

“What’s the second thing?” I asked, not wanting to get into a whole discussion on the publishing industry.

“We can e-mail. But you have to promise to buy the book and read it.” He’s serious.

“Bud, did you think I wouldn’t buy the book and read it?”

“No, I know you will, but you need to buy it ON July 9th. Don’t make me wait this time.”

“Deal,” I agree and we shake.

So, on July 9th, do not call, text, e-mail or tweet at me. I’ve got a date with a vampire named Vlad and then an important e-mail to answer.

If, however, in the month since his elementary graduation, my dear reading buddy has become too 7th-grade-cool to e-mail his former teacher about books – then please call, text, e-mail AND tweet to cheer me up (and talk about the book!).

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