We were walking through the mall last weekend and noticed a sign stating that the Disney Store at our local mall is closing. While to many this may not be a big deal, to us it is our childrens’ babyhood. We were dedicated to the Disney Store. We cut our teeth on their sweet and sanitized version of childhood, allowing our tiny little two year old to carefully touch the princess dresses and accessories that would eventually make their way under our tree or into her closet.
When we were just starting out with hardly two dimes to rub together, we would often find ourselves walking through the vacant mall with our toddler in tow, making our way to the play area, to build a bear, but our favorite was the Disney store. If you’ve been, you know the place is festooned with statues of characters all over the ceiling, with friezes of Disney royalty (Mickey, Minnie etc.), it rings with famous Disney songs and is littered with dresses, costumes, stuffed animals and a tremendous amount of merch that made our little girl shape her mouth into a perfect little o and softly touch the sparkles.
Through both pregnancies, we visited the Disney store and found the perfect little dress for one baby, and the perfect little dumbo pajamas for the other. We dreamed of what the babies would look like, looked at the world through their eyes and saw the same magic. When we were in need of a vacation we could not afford, the Disney Store could be the balm that would temporarily offer some relief. As silly as it is, The Disney Store was a foundational place for our new family.
And truth be told, three out of four of us were a little teary today as we took a last turn through the place. For us, we are on the precipice of never returning to the store anyhow. Jude barely fits their clothes, and I think Guinevere’s last princess dress she will fit was purchased there for her birthday. The Littlejohns are growing up and getting ready to move on and the official closing of the Disney Store just drove that point home a little more acutely. Guinevere searched the store in vain to find one last thing to purchase, Jude clung to a bow and arrow set, but we all went home empty handed (we already have a bow and quiver at home). It’s weird to know that this moment has passed.
But it’s good to know that, at least for now, we still have Disneyland!
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