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I was fortunate enough to spend a day with my son at Disneyland Paris. This was part of a 10-day trip that my son and I went on to France. It included catching up with friends and one of my closest friends marriage. An incredible trip to go on with your 8-year-old son. 

I must admit out of our whole 10-day trip, Disneyland was probably the part that had me a little concerned – I am not that great with heights, and also some of us are good with roller coasters, and others aren’t. I am the latter, and my son is the former. Can you see the challenge coming my way?

We arrived, and both our eyes lit up – mine with incredible memories of my youth and my son’s with pure excitement because of what he was seeing and the scale of everything. I was adamant that this day was going to be one of our happiest, it was going to be a day where we were just crazy, real kids. A day where I got to relive my past through my son and truly got to let go of all my adult inhibitions and fears. A day to let my hair down. A day where I was going to try and conquer some of my fears (or risk letting my son down!!) 

My son was kind to me by warming me up on some of the ‘less’ scary rides before taking me to the Rock ‘n Roller coaster ride. The anticipation built up in the queue. The kids were smiling and had the look of nervous excitement, and the parents were looking at each other with a mixture of sympathy and dread. We all knew what was coming. Loops and drops and everything I was dreading in the dark. 

As we sat down in the roller coaster, the music started blaring and then we were off. We climbed and climbed until we were higher than Everest. (Well not exactly but it felt like it). Then we plunged into a black abyss.  My stomach ended up in my throat. I screamed at the top of my lungs, and I think, at one point, I called out for my Mum! The ride came to an end, and my son looked at me with the biggest smile and asked me if I enjoyed it. 

I loved it, I loved the pure excitement and enjoyment in his eyes, the sounds of his laugh and screams of joy and then the buzz as he came off, jumping up and down with a smile from ear to ear. What a feeling! (And yes we did it twice more.) You see it wasn’t just about the exhilaration of the ride or how my senses dealt with the experience but more that I got to experience it with my son. 

It being Disneyland our day didn’t end there. We then went to another ride, Ratatouille. Unfortunately, the queue to do it together was 100 minutes, but the single rider queue was 10 minutes. What would you do? Stand in a long line and reduce the time to do other rides or take the chance to experience the ride but maybe not get to sit together. Really a no brainer. We both queued and jumped on, but we weren’t sitting next to each other. 

The ride was pretty incredible from an aesthetics point of view. The artistry and cinematography of the ride really was astounding. My son was in the car in front of me, and as he came off the ride, he had the biggest smile on his face. He thought it was brilliant. I, on the other hand, came off feeling a little flat. It just wasn’t the same without hearing, seeing and feeling his excitement. 

Why am I sharing this?  

We can go through the struggles of building and running a business, thinking that it will all be worth it in the future. That I will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labour in the future but what are you missing out on. Imagine if I did Disneyland on my own. It would never have been the same. You can sacrifice everything in the pursuit of one thing, but you will never have someone special to share your big wins or help you when you are down. 

After going on Ratatouille, my son and I agreed not to do a single ride again as the sharing is more important than the ride. What is the most important thing for you?

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