I Took My Grandchildren to Disney World and Now My Dil Is Mad at Me

When my son, Ethan, set up this account for me and insisted I share my recent dilemma, I was skeptical. According to him, my understanding of what’s normal and acceptable has always been a bit off-kilter.

He was convinced that once my story hit the internet, a wave of virtual finger-wagging would set me straight. So here I am, recounting the tale that led to my current status as the family pariah, all because I took my grandkids to Disney World.

Ethan and his wife, Sarah, had been planning to attend a friend’s wedding in Mexico. It was supposed to be a chance for them to unwind without their kids. While they were away, they wanted me to babysit their children, Lily, 5, and Jack, 4, for what would be a stretch of four nights and five days. Initially, I laughed at the idea.

Not only did it seem like a marathon of caregiving, but Sarah had previously made it clear that her family took precedence over ours. The notion didn’t sit well with me, and I found it particularly irksome that they would ask me, despite her mother being the apparent go-to for such favors.

However, Ethan’s emotional plea swayed me. He argued that it was a rare opportunity for them, a plea that tugged at my heartstrings, even as a voice in the back of my mind accused them of manipulation. I was supposed to be there for the kids whenever they wanted, apparently. But, I agreed.

During their absence, an invitation to a birthday party at Disney World came my way. It seemed like a splendid opportunity to do something special with the grandkids, and it honestly didn’t cross my mind to consult Ethan and Sarah. I thought, since I was the one looking after them at the moment, I could take them wherever I wanted, within reason, of course.

In my defense, Sarah often talked about taking the kids to Disney “some day,” but it always seemed like one of those far-off dreams, not an imminent plan. It was the Magic Kingdom. I had to take the kids. Seeing how Sarah’s plan to take them was probably years away, I knew I had to show them around the place. And what better time than while their parents were away?

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