In 2001, after my freshman year of college, my family and I visited Disney World. As it turns out, it was our last true vacation as a family unit — before girlfriends, wives, children, and a vast geographical separation between us.
At the time, and continuing for years after, Disney was doing a
cash grab promotion wherein you could purchase a small tile
that would be mounted upon one of many massive pieces of granite. These granite
blocks would be placed in the space between the front entrance of Epcot
and Spaceship Earth. This program — and the resulting attraction
— is called Leave a Legacy.
My parents decided to purchase a tile; ours had all of our names within the outline of Spaceship Earth. We never saw the actual tile at the time, but we were mailed a sheet that included “coordinates” of how to find it within the many granite stones that comprise the Leave a Legacy attraction.
In 2007, for our honeymoon, Erin and I went to Disney World, and we visited the tile. It was a novelty, but we really enjoyed getting in touch with my family in 2001.
In 2013, for Erin’s 30th, I surprised her with a trip back to Disney, and we returned again.
This year, Erin and I attended a wedding in Florida, and decided to make a vacation out of it in the week leading up to the wedding. Since we were going to be renting a car, and only a couple hours from Orlando, we figured we’d spend a couple days in Disney World.
The second day, we returned to my family’s Leave a Legacy tile. This time, however, it was a little bit different.
Fourteen years later, the legacy continues.
Many moments in parenting — too many — are inscrutable, terrifying, or frustrating. Some moments are simply humbling. Bringing my son to the tile that my family bought when I was still a student, over a decade before, was amazing.