Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let the Magic Begin… by Mike Ciccotello

This past Sunday morning, my family headed to the mall. We needed to get a Mickey Mouse lunchbox for one of our twin boys. We had a very busy day planned and needed to get in and out as soon as possible. No problem.

When you get up early with your little ones everyday, you tend to feel like it’s later than it actually is. Of course we didn’t think to check store hours and got to the mall early, not too early, but we had a 20 minute wait.

In order to keep the boys occupied, we went to look through all of the windows of the surrounding stores. Our one son got excited every time an employee opened the gate of a store and ducked under. He screamed, “THEY’RE OPEN, DADDY!” His brother also screamed with excitement. Each time that happened, I had to explain why they were not open yet. We had to wait.

The boys were getting tired of daddy doing “race-car stroller” and the “drive-by high-fives” to mommy. We could see they didn’t want to look at the store windows any more. We were nearing the inevitable meltdown and I was starting to get impatient. Suddenly, there was movement at Disney. A woman started opening the gate. We jumped up and wheeled the stroller over to the door. An authoritative hand shot up halting us in our tracks. The woman said, “You can’t come in yet.” 

Now, I was about to have a meltdown … didn’t she know how much we had to get done today? Didn’t she know that we had already been waiting here for twenty minutes? Didn’t she see that we had twin toddlers on the brink of a meltdown… and me too?

In my head I was thinking, “Lady, we need to get the lunchbox and go… and speaking of lunchbox, you’d BETTER have it in stock.”

So… we wait. The authoritative woman calmly rolls out a podium with two red ribbons hanging on either side. She puts the podium in the middle of the entrance of the store. She ties each ribbon, from either side of the podium, to their respective wall. I’m thinking, “Great… of all the days we needed to rush in and get a lunchbox, we picked the Disney Event Day… AWESOME.” 

A second woman came up and stood behind the podium. My frustration was at it’s limit. The first woman spun around to our boys, as if a light switch just flipped on, and spoke directly to them… “Hi what's you're name?” My wife and I looked at each other. Mesmerized, we watched. Our boys were both smiling. They were shy and didn’t answer. So we all got down on their level and helped them along and answered some questions. 

The woman asked if they knew a magic word to open the store. We responded, “Ala-Kazaam!” She tried saying it, but it didn’t open the store.

She suggested the boys wear Mickey’s hat and robe. Instantaneously, she put the hat on one twin and the robe on the other.

Then the nice woman gave them special necklaces with Mickey, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on them, and she asked them to help her say the magic words to open the store. She said it should be what Mickey would say. She pointed to the podium. There, on the podium, was an open book. It had an illustration of Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with some words written…

Together, we read the words aloud, “Let the Magic Begin…”

I know we all have busy schedules and need to keep up with the fast pace of the day, but if you take a moment to slow down and look at things from a child’s perspective, then you can let the magic begin…

We had a lot of fun in the store, we got the Mickey Mouse lunchbox, and believe it or not, we finished everything that needed to get done that day. 

Represented by Rachel Orr
For more info contact 

Twitter: @ciccotello 
Instagram: @ciccotello 


  1. I LOOOOOOOOOVE this post!!! Number one, I love the pictures of your family! The other, deeper reason I love this, is the wonderful message. "Slow down and waiting", two concepts that individually, frustrate me. Together, can cause a total meltdown, especially because I seem to be in a perpetual state of overload. But your point about remembering to see things from a child's perspective was very grounding. It also reminded me that no matter how overloaded we are, if we stop, even just slow down for a second, it's only then that we even become aware of all the magic that has been happening around us all along. Thanks Mike, great post! I needed that!!

    1. I'm so happy you liked it, Deb. It was a great reminder. The other interesting thing was they weren't promoting anything. They were just opening the store. Magic in the mundane... it's always there, we just need to look for it.

    2. I love that: "Magic in the Mundane... it's always there. We just need to look for it."

    3. I couldn't state in any better than Deb. The overload IS constant, but if anyone/thing is going to help you slow down and "Let the Magic Begin," it's "Disney" :D And it's SO true---there IS "Magic in the Mundane," Mike. It's the very essence of daily living. What a great post and comments! :D

  2. Good post and reminder to slow down and see things from a child's point of view. Also very apropos as this industry seems to have lots of waiting involved.

    1. You could read Waiting, by Kevin Henkes, while you wait to hear back on any submissions. :)

    2. Thanks, Donna! Tomorrow we go to swimming lessons - the boys are SO excited. And I think I'm even more excited to see what happens. Can't wait!!

    3. OH, the joy of fun with little ones :D :D :D