We sorta stood by our original plans. We took our son about a week before his 3rd birthday. It turned out to be perfect timing in many ways. And it opened up my eyes to why it's a good idea to take kids prior to the magical age of "when they'll remember". Plain and simple - we, as parents, deserve to have memories too.
Looking back on that very brief trip we took with an almost 3 year old, I have fond memories that I otherwise would not have if we'd waited until the perfect age. I remember him sitting in Chef Mickey's with his special birthday place mat, smiling from ear to ear as Mickey and Minnie came by to hug and kiss him. I remember him riding the Tower of Terror, holding on to me for dear life. I remember him swimming in the pool at the All-Star Music Resort on the morning we had to head home because we had promised him the entire trip that he could swim and this was the only slow moment we'd had. All of these memories hold a special place in my heart.
If you ask him what he remembers about our short stint at Disney that week, you'll quickly see that he does not have many memories of the trip. But what little he does remember is enough to make me smile. His memories are similar to mine. Eating macaroni and cheese at Chef Mickey's and screaming his head off on the Tower of Terror. Great minds think alike?
It does not bother me that his memory is limited to such a small portion of our trip. Because my husband and I remember. And we have stories to share with him for the rest of our lives. That makes it all worth it.