As my plane started down the runway from LAX tonight, a darling Spanish grandmother seated next to me did the sign of the cross. I reached over, squeezed her arm and she patted my hand in return — smiling and pointing up to God.

The last three days have been a whirlwind of Disney and Mermaids and Minnie and puppies and magic and everything that is right and good in my world. This most recent press trip, covering the rerelease of The Little Mermaid Blu-Ray, the world premier of Planes as well as a super special peek at Frozen (!!) and a few other surprises was attended by about a dozen bloggers, most of whom I had never met before. There was also another group of composed entirely of pastor’s wives.

There was a lot of head scratching from the bloggers about the pastor’s wives. (Just as the pastor’s wives were most likely mystified by the bloggers.) Some people thought maybe they were there because they didn’t get out much? So Disney was trying to show them a good time as an act of good will?

Turns out these women get out plenty, many of them work hands on with missions overseas, others hold high ranking positions within their church. One woman’s husband oversees a worldwide congregation of over 22,000 and we talked about fake hair and Spanx like old friends. “The wives” as they came to be known were lovely — charming, poised, elegant, and kind. Most importantly, they are influential in an entirely different capacity than a blogger or traditional journalist. It was amazing to see that influence leveraged through these ladies.

One woman, an executive pastor in her church, told me about a woman in Mozambique who admitted to nearly poisoning her children because she just couldn’t handle them crying anymore.

Proving that the difficulties of motherhood aren’t geographically confined.

I’m not sure if my path will ever cross with these women again, but they forever changed the schoolmarm image I had of a pastor’s wife. If you’re out there, thanks.

Hopefully in return I was able to demystify bloggers.

We’re a funny hodgepodge bunch.

That hand on my shoulder? That's Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel. Whee! #LittleMermaidEvent

(Example? We were able to meet with Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel (which !!!) and at the end of a moderated discussion someone asked if she would sing. Jodi smiled and said “Sure!” then went straight into ‘Part of Your World’ Suddenly a dozen bloggers screamed “NOT YET!” scaring Jodi half to death as two dozen video cameras, phones and audio recorders were raised in the air. She was then allowed to sing. Only a handful of people would tell Disney royalty to stop singing then tell her when she could resume.)

Thankfully I never pushed stop on my video camera and caught the whole thing.

Comments

  1. CHILLS.

  2. Whoa. Awesome.

  3. Oh wow. That is too cool.

  4. I started playing the video and my two girls immediately showed up at my side. All 3 of us were completely silent as we listened. I love seeing my favorite movie become theirs.

  5. I just played The Little Mermaid for my daughter for the first time this weekend, and it never gets old! Still makes me feel 6 years old.

    Glad you are rocking it in the Disney World!

  6. Oh, Casey. Thanks for sharing. That made me cry!

  7. Casey!
    I am so glad you got this on film so I can show my daughter what I got to witness! You are absolutely wonderful and I am so happy that we got to meet! Anytime you are in Seattle please look me up I’d love it! I will send you my info :)
    Much love, Michelle ( one of the crazy wives )

  8. You can totally tell which was MY Disney Princess because I let loose a few tears while watching this video. Wow. Chills.

  9. Ivy just watched the video of Jodi with me. Smiled so big the entire time. She hasn’t been to Disneyland YET. I can not wait to take her. :)

    Steph

  10. you.met.Jodi.Benson.

    Eeee!

  11. I can’t wait to buy Little Mermaid and watch it with my daughter. It’s my favorite!

  12. I have fallen out of my chair.

    Not really. But I did tear up. How ridiculous is that? She just starts singing, no warm up, nothing. And Ariel…I cannot tell you how much I wanted to be a mermaid as a child. And study marine biology.

  13. Tears! That was so awesome!!!

  14. Awesome! See – we pastors wives aren’t all dowdy Sunday School teachers! Most of us are pretty awesome!