Darcie Maranich

Darcie Maranich


This afternoon I’m getting on a plane with my daughter, Torri.  We’re flying to Florida, the Sunshine State, so you’d think the trip would be a happy one.  It is, in many ways.  But the fact that Torri’s ticket is one-way, and mine is round-trip, well, that complicates things.

I raised her to love many things.  I raised her to love strawberry pie and warm weather and God (though not—I assure you—in that order).  I raised her to love books and honey in her tea and anything related to Disney.  It’s that last one that is coming back to haunt me now.

She was two the very first time I took her to Disneyland.  By the end of the day she was sweaty and sugared up—a stuffed Piglet trailing from her tired, dragging hand.   A love for the magic took root during that trip and so many more that would follow.  And then five years later, we took her to Disney parks on the opposite coast.  She spent her seventh birthday at Magic Kingdom—still young enough then to believe that the princess dress and tiara she wore had convinced Cinderella to invite us inside her castle for breakfast and a visit.  All those spins on the carousel—all those walks down Main Street—they were the most magical times of her life.  And mine.

She was just starting high school when I was selected to be a part of the inaugural Walt Disney World Moms Panel.  During my on-site training, I had the chance to meet several of Disney’s executives.  I remember sitting at dinner and talking with one of them about how she came to be a magic maker.  Quite possibly, there was pixie dust in my eyes as I listened and learned.  Alas, it was too late for me, but I knew of a certain young girl at home—a young girl whose heart already had a magical slight.  I went home from that trip and planted the teensiest seed in that young girl’s heart.  It was no accident; I did it because I believed that if her dreams mattered, they’d steer her right during those tumultuous teen years.

And they {mostly} did.

Here’s what I know about dreams: you need only take a single step to start chasing ‘em.  Today, my baby girl will get on a plane and go about the business of dream chasing.  If I’m being completely honest with you, I have to admit that there is a part of me that wishes she’d stay.  But more than that, I’m watching through eyes open wide in wonder—so full of admiration for a girl brave enough to chase down the wishes her heart made.  And is making still.     

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