Costume Changes

The moment we wheeled Rebeka through the Disney gates, the Disney staff called her “princess.” “Have a great day, princess,” or “step this way princess.” Our second day at Disney started out with a trip to the “Royal Faire” where Rebeka was decked out in a super fluffy, glittery Cinderella dress so she could look the part. After changing, she settled onto the floor with dozens of others princesses to watch a Tangled play.

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We hunted down almost all the Disney princesses throughout the course of the day to get their signatures and some pictures. Of course, Cinderella was a favorite.

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We rode the carousel again. The boys have been real troopers, riding the Little Mermaid ride twice and gamely enduring the more tame rides, though they’ve had a chance to sneak off for the thrill rides as well. By the end of the day, all of us were dusted with Rebeka’s princess glitter. Her dress left a trail of sparkles wherever she went. She looked like a beautiful night sky, her dark skin and all that glitter like twinkly stars. But, when it was all said and done, Rebeka is still our silly, goofy Rebeka.

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In addition to seeing the ocean and going to Disneyland, we had another item to scratch off Rebeka’s bucket list: snow. We drove over two hours out of L.A. to Big Bear Lake, and headed straight to a tubing hill we’d read about. It was super warm, mid-60’s, but there was still snow on the ground and we couldn’t wait for her to experience this new thrill. Unfortunately, after just one slide down the hill, the staff apologetically told us that anyone wearing a cast who has had surgery can’t tube. I guess we should have known that. It would have been really bad if Rebeka went flying off her tube and hurt herself. Rebeka had fun on her inaugural slide, but she honestly didn’t seem too disappointed, and Clay was a little relieved. He said the hill was dicey, and he could easily see how an accident could happen.

Undaunted, we traveled a little further down the road and hung out at the base of a ski area.

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We did another costume change, but this time instead of a princess dress she was donning waterproof riding pants (thank you Daehlers!), and a plastic bag for her cast. Eventually she also put on mittens, a hat, and a heavy coat she brought from Bugesera. She arrived in Austin last August with three coats and a couple of heavy sweatshirts, and she was finally getting to use some of them! She was eager to try a snow angel:

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And of course we had to make a snowman.

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Our family usually goes skiing/boarding at Spring Break, so being around snow seemed right. As we watched people coasting down the hill, we all got a little itchy, wishing we could take just one run down. Alas, the day was getting late and it wasn’t worth the hassle and cost for just a couple of runs. So, we hopped back in the car and headed back to L.A. This has been a weird trip in a lot of ways. It’s strange not having Alayna with us (she’s on her junior trip in Europe). Our car trip has a totally different dynamic. Little “super-dee-duper-dee-doo’s” resonate from the backseat. The wheelchair rattles and clangs around in the back. But the mountains are beautiful, and the family picture is still very sweet.

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We look forward to trading stories with Alayna once we’re all back home again. Thinking of her reminds me of the many costume changes she made as she decided which clothes she would take and how they would all fit in the one carry-on-size suitcase she could bring. She must have tried on dozens of outfits and combinations to find just the right ones.

We have just one more day in California, and I think we’re done with “costume changes.” No Cinderella dress or snow pants required for the aquarium or the bird sanctuary. Then maybe we’ll go in search of the Hollywood sign, or Sunset Blvd., or revisit the beach . . . so many choices, so little time.

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