This Sandcastle Is Built On A Solid Foundation

, , , , , | Friendly | December 3, 2017

(My husband and I are at the beach with our outgoing, precocious five-year-old, and we are trying to convince her to wade in the lake. It’s warm, and not too deep for her, but she is afraid of the waves and the group of seventeen- or eighteen-year-old boys also in the water, who have spread out their things on a blanket a few yards away. A girl who’s about fourteen and seems to be the younger sister of one of the boys is building a very small but very nice sandcastle alone, and I feel a bit bad for her, as she looks miserable. My daughter refuses to get in the water, so my husband and I get out and relax on the beach while our daughter surveys the area. She notices the lonely girl on the blanket and hurries over to talk to her and admire the castle, and the girl seems to light up. After a few minutes my husband calls out:)

Husband: “[Daughter]! Come back over here!”

Daughter: “Can [Girl] come, too? She said she can help me make a sand castle.”

(The girl’s name is apparently the same as my daughter’s, which is somewhat uncommon.)

Me: *surprised* “Oh, her name is [Name], too? How do you spell it, [Girl]?”

(It turns out, she spells her name like [Daughter]’s, but with an A and Y instead of an E and I.)

Me: “How interesting! It’s not an everyday name.”

Girl: *nods*

Daughter: “Can she come and build a sandcastle with me?”

Husband: “Do you mind, [Girl]?”

Girl: *smiles* “I… I’d be glad to. Nobody else asks to, you know, build with me.”

(My daughter brings her new friend over to start the sandcastle. The girl is quite the artist and builds my daughter a pretty castle with windows and stairs. She even gets my daughter to wade in the lake to get water! They both seem to have fun, and my daughter is sad when one of the boys tells the girl it’s time to go. After taking a picture of the castle, I stop to thank the girl.)

Me: “Thanks so much, [Girl]. [Daughter] had a blast. It was so nice of you to play with her.”

Girl: *looking genuinely thankful* “No, thank you for letting me play with her. I… I mean … It’s been a rough couple weeks, and my brother kind of dragged me out here to have fun. Your kid made my day.”

(The girl’s brother called again, and the girl ran over to meet him. I don’t know what was going on with her, but I was glad that my daughter could make it a little better. If you’re reading this, nice girl, I hope everything gets better for you!)

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