Every once in a while someone drops into your life and makes you do a double take. Sometimes you do not realize it is happening until the future when you look back and say, “Who was that?”
Yesterday Angel and I got to see it while it was happening. We took one look at each other and knew it the moment it started. Let me explain….
We had a special Saturday afternoon where we were all off from work at the same time, and made the trip down to the beach. Saturday afternoons are great times for the beach here as most tourists are either traveling home or just getting here but cannot check into their vacation homes. This usually makes the beaches quite empty and magical. Yesterday was one of those days. In the midst of enjoying ourselves, up walked Little Joe.
His family’s beach camp must have been a few hundred yards away, but this little boy with long curly blond hair just walked over from where they were straight up to us. What did he want? Someone to play with in the ocean. That simple. No introductions, no idle chit chat, we just started letting the waves chase us up and down the beach, and Little Joe would plop down in the water with one of the brightest smiles any kid can give you. I found out only 2 things about him during this time. His name was Little Joe and he was 5 years old. That is all I needed to know. Being at the beach can make kids of us all, but seeing one playing in waves with such innocent joy is something Angel and I will never forget. I remember we looked at each other but never said a word, knowing we both were thinking “Can you believe this is happening?”
I know many kids today are taught not to walk up to strangers, and I get it. Eventually his Dad walked over to us and said he hoped he was not too much trouble. I tried to tell him what a special son he had and I could tell he already knew. He was a nice man and he told me this was only the 2nd time his son had seen the ocean. I played with him for about 15 minutes, but as I told Angel, I would have run around in waves with him for hours if he wanted to.
I bet most of us can remember the first time we saw the ocean. It is a magical event we never forget. Meeting Little Joe reminded me of that yesterday. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is something we should all try to keep hold of, no matter how old we get.
Thank you Little Joe, and keep playing in those waves….