Junior LOVES Disneyland. He went there for the first time a couple summers ago and has been begging us to go back ever since.
The problem is that we live almost two thousand miles away from Disneyland. We can’t exactly wake up one morning and just decide to go. A Disneyland trip for us takes a lot of advanced planning, including saving up for plane tickets, car rental, hotel stay, and park admission.
Of course, as a five year-old, Junior’s a little too young to understand all that. So, instead of delving into the logistical details, we’ve simply explained to him that, “Getting into Disneyland costs too much money.” And even though this isn’t the answer he wants, he’s accepted it. He knows that there are some things we can’t have because they’re just too expensive.
Now, Junior’s a natural born thinker. He’s always trying to understand things better or figure out how they work. So, it wasn’t surprising to me when a few days ago he asked, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get into Disneyland?”
I replied, “A lot.” Answers like this hardly ever suffice with Junior. I was pretty sure I’d get a follow-up question.
Sure enough, he quickly responded, “How much is a lot?”
I knew he wouldn’t be easily pacified, so I decided to go with, “More money than we have.” Not exactly true, but true enough.
He sat quietly for a few moments, kicking that thought around in his mind. Then, he started saying, “Dad, getting into Disneyland costs a lot of money . . .” and he paused. I wondered where he was going with this. Had his five-year-old brain come up with a brilliant solution for our financial limitations?
After a moment, he kept going, “But how much does it cost to get out?”
It was all I could do to keep myself from bursting into laughter as I imagined trying to leave Disneyland at the end of a long night only to find a menacing Mickey Mouse blocking my path, demanding payment in exchange for my departure.