We’ve had many magical moments here at Disney so far, but my very favorite moment, up to Tuesday morning, anyway, has only a little to do with Disney, and a lot to do with sibling love and human ingenuity.
At Hollywood Studios, where we visited on Sunday of our trip, they have a Jedi Training Academy. If you arrive at the park early enough, and scurry right over to the sign up building, your child/ren can be part of the Jedi show and use the force to fight Darth Vader. But, they don’t know they are going to be fighting Darth Vader. They just think they are learning to be Padawan Masters. Thanks to Andrea and Buddie’s dedication and Disney pre-reading, we hustled over there, and all three eldest cousins made the cut.
You are assigned a show time by the order you sign up, and we were in line to make the 3:50 show. (Shows start at 9:50 a.m. and run every hour. We were in line to sign up by 9:20, so this shows how popular Jedi Training is.) We had to have the children back at the Training Academy by 3:20.
Insert very filled day here, which you can read about in blog post: Disney Day #2.
Buds and the big kids go streaking off from The Tower of Terror to the Jedi Academy. The rest of us follow along at a more leisurely pace.
The children do their training, and then we all move over to the main stage to watch the show. All twelve children, I mean Jedis In Training, are given their brown jedi robes and light sabers. They spend some time on stage learning to arm and disarm their weapons, practice an attack sequence involving a slash to the right arm, left arm, right leg, duck, left leg, right leg, blow to the head, and their Jedi Master talks with them about using the Force. Then, all the children are moved off to the side, huddled together in a group, they all think to prepare to have a chance for center stage individually, but is, in actuality, clearing of the main stage so that a great dramatic moment can occur.
The bay doors at the back of the stage swoosh open with smoke and drama, and there stands two storm troopers and Darth Vader.
I look away from the activity on the center stage to see how the children are reacting to this new plot development. I can’t see Cousin O, but Z and Z are standing toward the middle of the group, with younger children in front of them, so I can see both of their heads clearly. As I am watching, seeing Darth Vader strut and threaten on stage out of the corner of my eye, I see Zoe reach up, put her hand on the top of Zachary’s head, and slowly push his head down as she lowers her own head down, attempting to make both of them disappear into the center of the Jedis.
In other words, she was going to take cover, and she was taking her brother with her.
We learned later that the children had not been told that Darth Vader would be part of their Jedi Training, and with the imaginations that all the children have, and the excitement and nervousness and focus they were all showing on stage before Darth appeared, I think they were so caught up in this moment, it became very real.
It makes me cry with laughter to think about it because it was a perfectly timed comedic moment, but then I realize to Zoe and Zachy it was very real, and I’m so touched by the care she was showing for her brother.
Jedis for a day. Siblings for a lifetime.