I had to do a speech for a public speaking class recently where I told a story. I racked my brain for a story and found it incredibly difficult because my life isn't full of exciting stories, at least not to me. But I turned to my most recent excitement, my first trip to Disneyland in 10 years. But 3 days summed in 3-4 minutes was proving to be too difficult, so I focused on a very specific aspect of the trip, my time spent with my cousin. I'd like to share it with you just because I like sharing it
Ernie is my dad's sister's youngest son. He grew up in a family of two older sisters, a mom with a history of drug problems and a dad with a history of drinking and violence issues. It's suffice to say he doesn't have very many good role models. I am his favorite relative. He loves to follow me around and bug me, all the stuff a little brother would do. So of course when we went to Disneyland, he kept up the act.
The first day there he wanted to be my ride buddy and ride everything he could with me and only me. When we rode Space Mountain (his first time as well as mine), I was gripping the safety bar with white knuckles and he was gripping my arm and hand while ducking in the rocket. When we took our picture, he was no where to be seen! He kicked my butt in Buzz Lightyear 50,000 to 15,000. He drove me around on Autopia and was a lot better driver then I ever was, never hitting the car in front of us or the center railing. We ended up getting hit from behind by his 19 year old sister and my grandfather.
He was afraid of some rides and I was happy to sit out with them because I too did no wish to go on the rides. When everyone went on Tower of Terror we walked around the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and I explained most of the puns to him. When his sisters rode California Screamin', we went to the gift shop near Ariel's Grotto and he helped me pick out my 50th hat. And when we sat out Tower of Terror the second time, we sat in front of the fountain (which was empty, is it always empty?) and talked for what seemed like an hour or so. We talked about politics, World War II, Hitler and Nuclear war. Oddest and best conversation I've ever had with a 10 year old. He is such a smart kid, he amazes me constantly.
I was able to give him more knowledge on these subjects and also shared Disney trivia with him, telling him about Pirates of the Caribbean since it was closed, teaching him about Pete's Dragon during the Electrical Parade and talking about how much things have changed in the past 10 years.
He taught me a lot of patience and how to have fun with someone with such a difference of age. I saw Disneyland through my own eyes as well as his and felt I enjoyed the trip much more because I was with him.