I am part of a family vacation at Disney World. My son and his wife and three kids, his mother-in-law, his dad and step mom and me are here for almost a week. There have been more highs than lows by far and some interesting moments. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

My grandkids are 9 (girl), 6½ (boy) and 4 (girl). It is most unusual what the kids cheer for. They screamed for the Disney buses and the transportation systems, probably because of the logo. They have been iPad (meaning movies and games) free since we arrived and not a single request for ‘media.”

We spent yesterday in the Magic Kingdom. We had fast passes to some of the rides. Turns out my oldest granddaughter is not a fan of either heights or roller coasters. Awkward in a family who might have been born with their arms raised in the front car of a roller coaster and screaming. Several adults tried to convince her to give it a go and her fear was way more powerful than any cajoling by anyone. This set up an interesting life question. How to deal with fear? How to not let fear limit you? How to honor a kid’s fears?

She and I went through the line at the Thunder Mountain roller coaster. We were so far along in the line that exiting meant going with the flow and exiting through the stopped cars. The same thing happened at Splash Mountain but there was a way for she and her dad to watch for a bit. She decided to go and loved it. One of her concerns was the idea that she hated rides might be ruining everyone else’s vacation. I gave her kudos for empathy and told her that she wasn’t responsible for whether other people were having a good time. Her riding or not was her decision. Their being happy or not was their decision. How she handled her fears was the important thing and I would respect her decision either way.

There is a lighted boat parade in the lake after dark. Part of it is patriotic with “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle” music. The first time the boats passed the lighted American flags had the stars in the upper right hand corner. This bothered me enough that I called the front desk to let them know they had the flags backwards. The next pass the stars were in the upper left hand corner of the flags.

We called the front desk three times for a spatula. Each time a polite person said, “I’ll send one right up.” Several hours later one appeared after we had finished making pancakes. Lesson: We’ll fix the flags but the spatula may take us a while.

My ex was commenting on the huge mix of people present in the Magic Kingdom. “What a cross section,” he said. And then, “But probably not many poor people.”

“No,” I said. “The poor people are the employees.”

This is bound to be a week full of contradictions. Noticing them may produce some opportunities for growth. Or it may just reinforce this princess fixation that little girls suffer from. Time will tell.