One Little Spark: Anya

For the recent past, I have had very few moments at work that make me say, “This is why I’m here.” I used to have those all the time; I always made magic and helped guests feel special. Since being in Frontierland, those moments are few and far between for me. There’s a lot of pressure to meet dispatch intervals and make our numbers and rush guests that I fail to remember that Courtesy is more important than Efficiency.

Tonight while hanging out with my favorite singing bears, a family came into the theater with a stroller being used as a wheelchair. At first, I rolled my eyes; why didn’t they just park it in stroller parking? Their child wasn’t using it anyway. Then I saw her.

This precious angel with her face-sized lollipop and what was left of her thinning blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail was walking with her parents. If I were to guess, I would say she was around five years old. Her eyes were as big as the sucker in her hand and I walked over to her to tell her to put it away.

“Hi, Sweetie. Just for the show I’m going to have you hold your lollipop and not eat it, okay? The bears might see it and want you to share with them.”

She nodded in agreement, but her parents took it and put it in the stroller anyway. She and her dad continued to tell me all about a video they saw on tv of a man being chased by a grizzly bear. I promised that my bears were nice bears, I just didn’t think she had enough candy to share with all of them.

It was then that I knew what I had to do. I asked her if she would like to help me start the show and she immediately jumped up, ready to go. I found out that her name was Anya, and she was from England. Her dad videoed us as I walked her over to the microphone, started the show, and introduced her to tell the theater hello and welcome. She ran back to her seat and I went back to mine. The entire show I watched her dance in her seat and I sobbed silently.

After the show, she gave me a high five and her dad thanked me and shook my hand. I wanted to hug every one of them and thank them instead.

I’ve missed these moments. I have so little time it seems to do anything magical these days. Not only that, but I’ve almost always been so easily irritated that there’s no room left in me for magic. But today was different. I swear sweet Anya came into my theater to remind me that I am capable of making magic at work.

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