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This Day At The Beach Was No Day At The Beach

, , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2022

When I was a young child, my parents would always be invited to a Fourth Of July party held at a private beach on the bay by a friend of my father’s. The beach did not happen to have a restroom; we had to walk a little ways away to find the porta-potties.

One holiday, I needed to pee, but both my parents were busy talking to other grown-ups. I knew they wouldn’t want me going on my own, but I decided I was big enough to manage the trek, and I figured they wouldn’t even notice I had gone. I found the potties just as I planned, but on my way back, I missed my turn and soon was hopelessly lost.

Eventually, a man came out to find out why I was walking through his yard. I didn’t have shoes since I had been playing in the bay, and the road was hurting my bare feet. I tried to explain where the party was, but my limited explanation wasn’t enough for the man to figure out where to take me, so he instead offered to walk with me for a while until I found my way back.

Once it became clear that I must be walking in the wrong direction, he took me to a neighbor who he hoped could drive me around to look for them. Sadly, both that neighbor’s car and boat were not available at the moment, so I briefly had two escorts walking with me until they could find a third volunteer with a functional car to drive me around to look for the party.

By this point, I’d figured out where I had gone wrong and asked to be taken back to the porta-potties. I’m pretty sure I would have found the turn this time, but I didn’t need to, as the flashing lights of a police car in a nearby lot gave away where the turn was. It seemed my parents had noticed I’d gone missing and the police had been called.

The man dropped me off with my parents and got many thanks in return. I was scared, and exhausted from all the walking and worrying, but I was thankful I’d had numerous volunteers to help me find my way back.

It’s a small thing, but when everyone tries to make it sound like the world is falling apart, I try to remember that there are still decent people who will give up their afternoon to make sure a lost child finds his way home.

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