07/31/2011 By Shawn Burns

Erin’s most-requested YouTube video is one from the Disney Sing-along Songs production. In it, a tragically 80’s family follows various costumed Disney characters around Disneyland, singing songs and riding rides. Her favourite is a parade song that goes:
“Ti dum. Ti dee. A-teedely dum ti day.
We march along
And this is the game we play.
Ti dum. Ti dee. A-teedely dum ti day
It’s a-teedely dum ti teedely tum ti day.
We’re following the leader
The leader, the leader.
We’re following the leader
Wherever she may go.
We won’t be back til morning
Til morning, til morning.
We won’t be back til morning
And so we say “Ti dum”.”

We spent the first day of this Orange County trip at Disneyland. Sadly, we followed no Characters around, though with twenty-five of us we had our share of characters, and there was much following going on. And waiting. And racing ahead. But despite all the travails, we had fun and even managed to get a group photo taken. I can’t be sure that everyone was looking at the camera, but we were all present for it.

We spent the second day at the beach. Again, our group of twenty-five descended on an unsuspecting tourist area: we paraded through Newport Beach and its boardwalk shops and lifeguard towers, and one Chipotle restaurant with four tables. We made s’mores, and Erin played with cousins of all shapes and sizes.

The real purpose of the trip was to celebrate the baptisms of three geographically distant relatives into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons). It was a convenient excuse for a family reunion, a Disneyland trip, and gorging on food all weekend. At the baptism after-party Erin once again played with her cousins, this time equipped with a lightsaber someone’s mom had purchased at Disneyland earlier in the week.

Lightsaber in hand, and with visions of the new Star Tours ride at Disneyland cycling through her head, Erin wanted nothing more than to play Star Wars.

“I’m Darth Vader!” she shouted, saber flashing in the air. “Everybody follow me!”

She took off, skipping down the hallway, lightsaber glow illuminating the walls for her cousins to follow behind, all the while singing “Ti dum, ti dee, a-teedely dum ti day…”

We’re always following the leader.