Originally Posted By DVC_dad This is not a trip report, but rather a recount of something I learned last week. It was fantastic, but before we left and while we were at WDW the first day or two, I was feeling guilty that we didnâ€™t take any of our extended family. Itâ€™s been 6 years since we went just mom, dad, and the kids. But soon I realized that we didn't feel as if we had to entertain anyone, and we could come and go (to the parks or the hotel) as we pleased. But still, I felt bad that none of our other extended family members were with us. Now that we are back to reality, I can say that I am glad to be back. I had such a great time reconnecting with my wife and children on a 100% attention focus, quality time sort of way...if that makes any sense. I learned a thing or two about myself and about my kids while there. The most important thing I learned came to me through a very vibrant, young, smart, and witty waitress at the Rose and Crown Pub/Restaurant. I cannot remember her name, but we discussed those interesting windows in the place. She took the time to explain to me why English Pubs have glass like that. But she also took the time to notice my family, REALLY notice (and watch) my family. She called them beautiful, well-behaved, fun loving, and temporarily sheltered from life's responsibilities. Her comments, like most things with me, just sort of fell away into some mental catch basin, for later consideration. I do this often, and I really donâ€™t know why. I sort of have this holding tank, itâ€™s not really short term memory, and certainly isnâ€™t long term, but I stick things there, and queue them up for later when I have time to really think about whatever it is. This makes me a great puzzle solver, but a terrible chess player. But let me get back to the point. Later that day we were slowly making our way around the rest of World Showcase, letting the kids make masks at the Kidcot Locations. And I (for reasons unknown) subconsciously pressed this â€œmental rewind buttonâ€ and thought, really thought, about what this young lady had said. I carefully considered â€œtemporarily shelteredâ€ over and over and really focused on why someone would say such a thing and what it really meant. Iâ€™ll TRY TO cut this post short by saying it was a really enlightening idea for me, a real defining momentâ€¦you know one of those things in life that happens that is seemingly the smallest most insignificant thing, but yet it hits you between the eyes like a brick, and causes at least some change in how you think, some shift in your paradigm, and at most it can even change who and what you are. It was in this sweet, kind, â€œbrilliant,â€ English girlâ€™s words (I cannot recall the town but I remember reading it on her name tag and thinking that it was in England) that I found myself absorbed, and for the first time in a long time, I looked at my children in an entirely different way. Instead of just seeing them hard at work, making masks in Epcot, I looked at each child individually, slowly, carefully considering everything about who they are, what they are, how they got to where they are, what each child might possibly become, what each child means to me as an individual. I took a long long long time thinking about this, emotionally reconnecting to each little person, each young life, each one independent of the others, separate from the whole. It quickly became overbearing and burdensome, but as soon as that feeling came, another much stronger reaction took over in the from of sheer and utter awe and gratitude to my God for blessing me, trusting me, and choosing me to care for, and to â€œTEMPORARILY SHELTERâ€ these 6 young, beautiful souls, each one so different from the next, so unique, so marvelous. If it can be done, if a single man can rise, if a single man can face the task, if one single regular old guy like me can be a father to 6 individuals and meet their needs, and raise them into responsible, healthy adults, I can do it. Iâ€™m up for it. I welcome the chance. Itâ€™s not a job, itâ€™s a calling. And why not? I jump at the opportunity, for after all, in that wonderful British Galâ€™s own words, itâ€™s a â€œtemporaryâ€ assignment. All things change, and I know you never quit being a parent, but still for now, I have the chance to effect change for the positive, not only for each child, but for the group of siblings, for the family, for the extended family and friends that they will affect, and ultimately for the greater good. It was right for us to go, after 6 years of taking other extended family, it was right for us to go with just a mom, a dad, and 6 kids. I wish we had done it sooner. Iâ€™ve learned how important it is for me to consider my children as 6 individuals, with unique needs, instead of seeing them as a group or set of kids that one must maintain. I am so glad we didnâ€™t take anyone else. It was the best week of incredible quality time. My family seems SO much â€œbiggerâ€ and happier now, and my batteries are totally recharged, and my mental outlook is so tremendously improved for the first time in a very very long time.