When we got back from Walt Disney World last fall, a family friend asked my kids about their favorite part of the trip. I listened excitedly to see how they would answer the question.
Would they talk about learning to dance the hula at O'hana's? Would it be riding Test Track three times in a row? Or getting picked as chef of the day in the Year of Million Dreams promotion?
Instead, both kids responded quickly, "the duck races."
Of course, the duck races.
A little after lunchtime on the fifth day of our visit, my son sat down in the middle of Epcot and politely told us that he was not moving unless we promised to go back to the hotel. The past few days had been wonderful and each of us had really enjoyed our trip. But now my 5-year-old was hot, tired and done walking around theme parks.
We resisted our urge to proceed with our afternoon plan and headed for the buses. An hour later, we were relaxing at the beautiful hotel pool when one of the lifeguards announced that it was time for the duck races.
For the next two hours, we watched as kids dropped plastic ducks from a small bridge. The child whose duck navigated through the rocky stream the fastest was declared the winner.
The children laughed. The adults cheered the ducks on. And the kids were delighted at the small trinkets given out as prizes.
If we had insisted on staying at the park, we would have spent the afternoon dealing with a cranky child instead of watching both kids cheer for their duck...
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