Hi, I'm Amelia!
I’m a slightly overwhelmed undergrad, scrambling to find time between school in the smallest state in the union and work at a low-rent video store to make a documentary about my grandfather, Carlos. He was a writer who always looked to the future. He’s only passed a short time ago, and I miss him terribly. Read More >

New to my blog? Start here!

The Bedtime Story

Lab ended a little early, so I went home to find Mom watching a soap opera. To which I said, “Mom, you watch soap operas?” She said she was so stunned by how silly soap operas have become that she was physically incapable of changing the channel. I told her that Vivian and I watch soap operas when we’ve had especially bad days and need an awesome laugh. (They really work!)

Mom couldn’t believe how mean the people were on the soap opera she was watching. She said everyone seemed like they were out to hurt each other. And I told her that’s why I liked the story Grandpa used to tell. Because it was never about those things you see in soap operas. That’s when we started to discuss his bedtime story. Trying to recall everything that happened. In bits and pieces. Then putting it all together. And this is what we remember:

  • There is a little girl named Tamara.
  • She lives and works on a farm with her mother and father.
  • Tamara talks to them constantly about her wish to explore the world one day.
  • One night during a particularly heavy storm, a mysterious visitor knocks on their door.
  • Tamara’s mother and father invite the visitor inside for a hot meal and coffee.
  • Before the storm ends, her parents share a private conversation with the visitor, and then he leaves.
  • That night Tamara has the most amazing dream, with dinosaurs and robots and lights that always glow.
  • And every night, the same dream continues from where she had left off.
  • And the dream world grows larger and lusher.
  • But when she wakes up that first morning, she discovers that her parents can no longer speak.
  • They don’t seem alarmed by it. They just continue on as if all were normal.
  • And every morning, she finds a new note with the same message from her mother and father: Together, we will make tomorrow beautiful.
  • When she returns to the dream world, she tells her new friends her problem. That she needs to find a cure for her parents.
  • Tamara’s friends tell her about a king and queen who created the dream world in which they live. That the king and queen will have the answer to her problem.
  • Her friends say the king and queen live on the farthest edge of the dream world in a kingdom in the clouds.
  • With all of her new friends, Tamara sets out on a quest to find the king and queen.
  • She searches all of dream world for them, with interesting new challenges popping up along the way, until she reaches the cloud kingdom.
  • But the kingdom is empty.
  • Just as she is about to give up, she remembers her parents. She realizes that they were the only ones who could have created this.
  • Tamara wakes up.
  • She races to tell them what she knows – that they had created the dream world.
  • Once again able to speak, they tell Tamara they made it all…for her. But only she could build upon this world they created.
  • So Tamara returns to the dream world with her parents. And they continue to build upon it. Together.

I have to say, I had such an awesome time recalling this story with Mom. And she seemed to enjoy herself too. Smiling. Laughing. Often quick to finish my sentences. There’s just something about Grandpa’s story. I’m finally getting the sense that she’s open to facing the other stories in Grandpa’s life. The ones that grow more and more real every day. So, I’m going to start sharing it all with her. First chance I get. Tomorrow.



54 Responses to "The Bedtime Story"

  1. Louella says:

    Wow , that’s a lot to take in.

  2. Nick says:

    What an interesting story.

  3. Whitney says:

    Wow, that is such a wonderful story! But I can’t help but wonder if your grandfather was trying to tell you and your mother something? It feels like to me that Tamara is a metaphor of your mother and that would make Walt Disney the visitor. My thoughts are that you Grandfather/Tamara’s parents created these wonderful things, but because of the rules of The Society he was not allowed to speak about them to your mom (with the exception of his stories/Tamara’s dream world). But once Tamara discovered the secret, that her parents created everything, they could speak again! That seems to imply that your grandfather was just waiting for you and your mom to discover the secrets of the Society so that he could share all of his work with you! Just my thoughts on it. I could be way off, but it seems to fit!

  4. Courtney says:

    ‘There’s a great big beautiful Tamara…’

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing Amelia! Is this all the pieces of the story or are there still some pieces missing that you seem to have forgotten about? Do you know if your Grandpa told you how Tamara met her new friends?

    • Amelia says:

      She met her friends all throughout her journey, while exploring the dream world. As a kid I loved hearing about them. They were all so unique from one another. Each with their own set of gifts.

  6. David says:

    Amazing Amelia—a breakthrough! “Sweet dreams!”

  7. Christina says:

    Such a beautiful story! Stories about parents who sacrifice for the better of their children always resonate with me because my parents have always done that for me. This story just reminds me that I have to be the best I can be so that nothing they did was in vein.
    I think your grandfather sacrificed a lot more than your mother realizes for her future. He worked hard to build a better tomorrow so that she, and you, could make it whatever you want it to be.
    Thanks for sharing, Amelia!

    • Amelia says:

      I think this story resonated with me for the same reason. I also think there’s something to your feelings about my grandfather. Thanks for making it so easy for me to share, Christina.

  8. Fred says:

    That is such a fascinating story Amelia! Thanks for sharing that. :)
    I’d LOVE to see a world filled with robots, dinosaurs and glowing lights!

    • Amelia says:

      I’m glad you think so, Fred. Grandpa would be glad too. And the robots, dinosaurs and glowing lights were just a small slice of the story that Grandpa baked up. His imagination was boundless, to say the least.

  9. Hastin says:


    Maybe this wasn’t just a story after all:

    “That night Tamara has the most amazing dream, with dinosaurs and robots and lights that always glow.”

    We’ve heard about Dinosaurs on the records you gave us.
    We’ve heard about Robots on the same side of the record, the ‘more ambiguous animations’.
    Plus, the ‘lights always glowing’ – that’s the wireless power talked about on the Carousel of Progress.

    Amelia. This was MORE than a story. This was REAL. You have to ask your mom if she’s been there, if she’s seen it.

  10. Dale says:

    Nice bedtime story. I like when it said “Together, we will make tomorrow beautiful” and that her parents created the dream world for her and that together they can go to build on it so a dream takes more then a couple of people to make it better. Also that her parents seem to be the king and queen in the kingdom that she was searching for. That is what stands out for me.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Wow Amelia! Sounds like you and your Mom had a great talk — and what a great memory to recollect together. Thanks for sharing it.

    I wonder if you ever heard your Grandpa (or maybe Mom) sing a song that goes like this:
    “Man has a dream and that’s the start,
    He follows his dream with mind and heart,
    And when it becomes a reality,
    It’s a dream come true for you and me.”

    That song comes to mind when I read your Grandpa’s bedtime story and might be important. Maybe a theme song to the Society even?

    Oh! Also Amelia! Have you ever heard mention of two robots named 1) Tom Morrow and 2) ASIMO? Just curious.

    Thanks again or sharing and great job with your Mom!

    • Amelia says:

      Oh, believe you me, “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was the number one track on Grandpa’s singing and whistling playlist.

      As for the robots, I heard of the second one. Had to look up the first one.

      I appreciate it, Jennifer.

  12. Anthony says:

    this is the story of us. Replace the word Tamara with your own name. mom and dad are the keepers of the secret and the dream world we are playing is here. And the secrets are to be revealed…

  13. Ryan says:

    Amazing story that at this point for all of us has hints to what we are all chasing. your grandfather has the vision and everyone who is part of the +u has the vision for a better tomorrow. The question now should be was it created and was it successful in testing. Does this Tommorowland or dream world still exist and how do we uncover it! who is Wallace and is that his real identity and is he from past who was residing in the alternate world and came back get you Amelia since you are a visionary and grandchild of the creator. I love this hunt to find information and see where this leads us all.

  14. Mercedes says:

    I really love this story…and much more realistic than soap operas. Ha!

  15. Rob says:

    Curious. In that story, do you think it’s possible that Tamara’s parents -could- talk, they just couldn’t talk to -her-? At least, not until she put the secret together for herself?

    Maybe your Mom is going through something similar. She knows, but can’t outright tell you about it until you’ve put it all together for yourself?

  16. Brian says:

    Wow! I wish your grandpa could have told be stories. What a cool tale.
    For some reason I am drawn to the words “kingdom in the clouds.” Seems vaguely religious. And of course the Magic Kingdom is Walt’s Kingdom. So much to take in.
    Pop! *(head explodes)

  17. Amber says:

    In the story the details are introduced as a fantasy (a dream) until she realizes that it’s all real and then her parents could talk to her about it. I’m curious if your grandfather’s bedtime “story” was a sort of recruitment test to see how open your mom’s mind was to the ideas and if she could see past the fantasy to conceive it as reality. Perhaps the part where Tamara goes to her parents means you’re grandfather wanted your mom to come to him about it and that the “distance” she felt was him holding back from sharing with her all the things he wasn’t sure if she was ready for.

    PS Apparently there’s two Ambers on here, I’m the one who’s been working with Kalani:-)

  18. Emily says:

    All the suspense is killing me! Hahaha we are literally becoming are own soap opera!!!

  19. Joey says:

    I know there are some folks who have been making templates for buttons etc. to wear to D23. I made one too and wanted to post if anyone was interested in using it. I don’t have a place to post the file but if someone would like to host it I’d be happy to email it to you.

  20. Christina says:

    So on twitter someone asked Wallace Why there is a giant X in the middle of Marceline? and Wallace responded “Why indeed?”
    I found this intersting because in the past if we’ve been on some completely bogus path Wallace would just ignore our tweets about it but even with little prodding, he responded to this.
    I was skeptical that this had anything to do with the game and thought it was coincidence but I’m not sure anymore. Thoughts?

  21. Marianne says:

    Loved the story. It reminded me of a lot of my favorite books and movies like Wizard of Oz and Alice and Wonderland, but better because the parents are helping the child build her imagination and improving the world through that interaction. This is one of the missing elements of a lot of households now. Very inspiring.

  22. Eli says:

    That sounds absolutely amazing! But what if we took it a step further, if we assumed that the story was connected to the society, couldn’t we also name Disneyland and Disney world the hypothetical dream world? Robots, dinosaurs, and lights are all features in Walt’s several parks.

  23. Wayne says:


    This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been following everyone’s exploits with rapt attention. I’ve been more than a little freaked out by some of the revelations, because so many are similar in tone and content to story points in my recently published novel, Midlife Mouse.

    The book deals with a fictional prophecy spoken by Walt and the efforts of a secret council to confirm the book’s hero as the fulfillment of it. That secret council is comprised, in part, by groups like the Small World SOCIETY and the Tomorrowlanders. The former, of course, is devoted to the causes of the original it’s a small world attraction at the ’64 World’s Fair. The latter group have a penchant for quoting Carousel of Progress and place a high importance upon the animatronic figure of Tom Morrow.

    In the sequel, Midway Mouse (which is only partially complete at this point), we learn that our hero’s father was once being recruited into an organization to create a real-life city of tomorrow. Weird, huh?

    Some of the similarities are so odd, I wonder if perhaps I was once a member of the Society and just don’t recall it. Time for some hypo-regression, I guess!

    (And did I mention that my day job is as a filmmaker, mostly in commercials and … documentaries?)

    Anyhow, best of luck on your continued quest. Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

  24. Stephen says:

    Amelia I have been go e for a coh e of days but it is so gl ad that you are making progress with your mom. She will eventually come around. Your story is amazing.

  25. Amber says:

    I really feel like that Marceline has a lot to do with this… It would be really awesome to see if they will build something Disney related there…

  26. Catherine says:

    Yeah. It definitely sounds like tamaras story was meant to be a hint to Tanya Moreau.

  27. Rosemary says:

    Interesting, Amelia! Tamara is Hebrew for palm tree (old palm). This story could be the story of Disneyland. Walt Disney is the visitor. The Dominguez family are the parents and in reality they sold the land to Disney with the stipulation he keep their date palm which was a family wedding gift planted in 1896 (currently located in Adventureland). The Dominguez family actually worked at and helped build the park — or kingdom (Magic Kingdom?). Ron Dominguez has a window on Main Street. Thoughts? :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.