Charlie, Guardian of the Galaxy

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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Two years ago, my granddaughter Charlie wasn’t tall enough to ride the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster

at Disneyworld. Her father Frank (I can’t believe I’m about to admit this.) stuffed paper napkins in her shoes to add height. It didn’t work.

“We were just two napkins short,” Frank said.

Fast forward to this month. She was tall enough, even without stuffing her shoes, to ride every thrill ride. This time her height wasn’t the problem, but there was a complication.

We were in line for Soarin’ when Charlie’s mom Monique checked her Individual Lightning Lane list for the next scheduled ride, Guardians of the Galaxy. (Monique was the leader of our 14-member group. We submitted our preferences, and she scheduled our days.)

“Elise, Monique, Frank, Olivia, Lauren, Adeline,” Monique read.

“And Charlie,” I said.

“She’s not on the list! Let me check again.” She repeated the names. “Where’s Charlie’s name? I forgot Charlie!”

“Can you add her?”

“No! I can’t believe I forgot Charlie. I’ll just give her my band and let her ride in my place.”

“No,” Lauren said. “You haven’t ridden it yet. She can take my band.”

“I’ve ridden it, too. She can use my band,” Frank said.

No one wanted to skip the ride, but all wanted Charlie to experience it.

“Monique,” I said. “Just explain that you forgot your child. Maybe they can add her.”

“Why would they do that? It’s not their fault, it’s mine. My mistake.”

“Then lead with that.”

So she did. She explained her error and when her account was pulled up the Cast Member said, “You’ve been responsible for a lot of people!” And she waved Charlie through the gate. 

Honesty and humility went a long way – at least through the Galaxy.

Ronny can be reached at