Dear Daughter,

I want you to know why I take you on trips like to Disney World, even though you’re just a baby, a toddler, a little one. People tell me, “She won’t remember. It’s not worth it, save your money.” Even I’ve wondered if it’s worth the time, energy and money. But here’s what matters: we will remember. You, your dad and I will all remember how we felt together. Your dad and I will remember vividly the happy, hoarse screech you do when you see Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey Mouse and all of your favorite rides. We will even have pictures to help you remember. And there are so many more reasons that we take you with us when we travel.

We travel together because I need that place to be with you where I give myself permission to not do dishes or vacuum or all the things on my never-ending to-do list. I need to dedicate times to put away the phone and hold you tight. I need to get out and see new places as we spend a lot of time together at home too. I need a place where we do different and new things together so I can show you that you can trust me here, there and everywhere.

But I don’t consider myself a selfish person and it’s not all about my needs. Your dad needs it too. He needs time away from work, where he leaves his work phone at home and doesn’t have anything else to do except to make you giggle. He needs a place where he can hold your hand while you try new things and test boundaries so he can let you know he wants you to be independent but he’s right there behind you if you need him. Your dad needs to be the one who can make your face light up by handing you bubbles and a balloon because when he is at work he doesn’t get moments like that. Your dad needs to see me holding you with a tear in my eye during the fireworks because you’re everything I ever dreamed of and he needs reminders of how powerful our love for you is.

And even more than what your dad and I need, you need it all even more. You need a place where we meet your needs for a schedule while balancing it with you learning how to be flexible. You need to learn how to talk with other people, be polite even when others aren’t, to have courage to make new friends. You need to learn how to be independent and brave by trying new things and going on new rides. You need a place where we put aside all the other things we have going on in our lives and you, your needs and wants and everything about you become our number one priority. Because, although you really are our whole world, sometimes the rest of our chores and work and just life all get in the way. But when we travel together or go to Disney World together, all the love and joy we feel for you all the time gets to be even more magical and also gets captured in photos and videos.

So, they are right and I know that – you won’t remember it all. In fact, it’s possible you’ll remember very few details because you are still very small. But I know in my heart you’ll remember how we made you feel, and we will remember how you made us feel too.

So my love, all the time and energy and money, it was all worth it for us. Even if all we got was that one magical moment together it would be worth it. But we walk away from each day with hundreds of incredible memories and so many of those have become our core memories with you. We have pictures of those special memories together and you’ll see them everyday as you grow and you’ll keep those core memories close to your heart and so will we. And that is the greatest gift we can give you and also you can give us. These moments where we traveled and grew together, my love, are priceless.

We love you, our sweet Mini Minnie.