Firefighter. Professional football player. Police officer. Actor/actress. Musician. Professional baseball player. Veterinarian.
I can pick up either of Kaitlyn’s two yearbooks and browse through the fifth grade class of that particular year, and I will see those professions, and many others, under the pictures of the students. What we generally find when we read through the responses are the usual list of professions on what the kids want to be when they grow up. Most of the time, you can pretty much guess that they answered that way because either one of their parents is in a particular profession, they currently excel at a particular sport, they want to help animals, etc. And they are all wonderful responses.
If Kaitlyn were to be asked that same question today, her answer would be one that is rarely, if ever, one that other students provide. And it’s not because she does not love animals, or she does not want to be like Amber or I.
Nope, her answer, and what she currently wants to be when she grows up, comes from one place. Her desire to make people happy and smile.
When she first announced what she wanted to be when she grows up, Amber and I both thought that it was just a natural by-product of our recent vacation. We were wrong.
Her reason for wanting to be a princess on one of Disney’s cruise ships is quite simple. She wants to make little kids smile and be happy like she was on our recent cruise. To be honest, her simple reasons melted my heart.
As Amber and I have gone through the selection of pictures that we printed (we took over 600 total, and had to choose a small sample to print), the ones that are my favorites are not any that have me in them, or any that have Amber in them. No, my favorites are the ones where Kaitlyn is posing with a character, because the smile she is flashing in all of the pictures is amazing. You can tell that, at those moments, she was beyond happy. Kaitlyn is usually a very happy child anyway, but this is a completely different level of happy. It is the happy that parents want their kids to display all day every day, but one that we know is more special than that. It is the happy that helped convince Amber and I to book a cruise for next year already, knowing that each day would be agonizing for us because there are way too many before that particular happy comes back for all of us (Kaitlyn was not the only one that enjoyed the cruise in that way).
I am not going to hold Kaitlyn to her stated goal of being Princess Jasmine on the Disney Dream, but I know that if she gets that stuck in her head as more than a passing fancy, it won’t be too many more years before Amber and I are waiting in line on a cruise ship, waiting to take our turn to get our picture taken with Kaitlyn as Jasmine. And it is a line that I would happily wait hours in for the opportunity.