My Little Mouseketeer

Emmett had Disney running through his veins before he was even born. Brett and I are crazy Disney fans (ok, me mostly and I’ve dragged him along on this lifelong adventure). We went to Disney World for our honeymoon, first anniversary and fifth anniversary. It’s a place of joy where it brings out the inner child in both of us.

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We had planned on this to be our birth announcement on social media for Emmett sometime in April:

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Sadly, we never were able to share it. We were waiting until after our first ultrasound to hear his heartbeat to share the news with our friends. Before that point, we had only shared our pregnancy with our immediate family and a few very close friends and colleagues who were suspecting something was up when I was sick and fatigued all of the time. The first time people saw the image of three mouse-ear hats was after Emmett had already passed in late April, many of them so surprised to learn I was even pregnant. A few people had even missed the post that we had lost our son and had sent us “Congratulations” messages instead upon seeing the image.

I had gone on eBay especially to find the teeny pint-size hat since I knew the “baby” sized hats available in the parks are mostly for toddlers and smaller kids. It would’ve been gigantic on a baby. I found some new-in-box mini-ears that used to be available in the Disney Parks but were discontinued. They’re the perfect size for newborns or even pets. It comes with a little chinstrap or you can use the keychain accessory instead.

We placed the mini-hat in a sunny part of our dining room along with Brett’s ears from our first trip as a couple to Disneyland in 2005 and my 50th anniversary Disneyland ears from that same year. I had hopes to some day take the mini-hat to one of the parks to see if they could stitch on a baby name really small on the back so it would look like Mom and Dad’s, and then we could place it on the curio shelf with our full collection of ear hats.

Sadly, the ears are back in their box and sitting on a shelf now. Sometimes when I’m home during the day and can’t concentrate on work, I’ll wander in there and look at the shelf, and think about the memories that should be going up there for him. That’s going to be the only memory of Emmett on the shelf. No more will ever come. There isn’t enough Pixie Dust in the world to change that.

One of the things I’ve done for as long as the internet has been around is listen to Disney Parks music to help me fall asleep at night or keep me calm when I’m stressed out. Since I’ve been having issues with insomnia and getting to sleep at night, I’ve found the nighttime mix on Sorcerer Radio to be a great, non-medicinal sleep therapy.

While listening the other night, I heard this tune sung by Christina Perri called “Forever Young.” It’s a remake of a Bob Dylan song (originally written as a lullaby for one of his sons) that’s also been covered by Joan Baez and The Pretenders.

I found myself crying as I listened to the lyrics in the dark. Emmett is never going to know the joy of Disney with me and Brett. It broke my heart to think that he would never walk down Main Street U.S.A, sitting on top of Brett’s shoulders. He would never get to meet Mickey Mouse. He’d never enjoy the fun of a Mickey waffle or a Dole Whip. He’d never get to see the sensational explosion of colors over Cinderella Castle at night. He’d never get to wear that little ear hat we got just for him.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
I hope Emmett found that ladder in the sky. Maybe he’s hanging out with Walt and Annette and the other Disney legends, spreading magic and joy among the angels. He’ll forever be my little mouseketeer.
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