Met the funniest kid today. He was four and smart as a whip. The youth group was goofing off on the beach Tuesday and he was running all through the waves trying to throw water on us. He’d fill up his cup and lean back to throw it on us, only he’d dump all the water out before he brought his arm back around. Like an old comedy sketch or something. When we ignored him, he came over and started digging a hole at our feet. Soon he ran back down to the water to get another giant shovel (by another hole) and got us to help him dig.
“My name’s George,” he said.
“Hi George, my name’s Amy,” I said. “Do you live in Brigantine?”
“No, I live on Misty Oak Lane,” he replied. “I’m visiting my mom mom.”
“Oh,” I said. He was standing up to his knees in our hole by this point, scooping sand out to the rim, only to have it tumble back down on to his feet. “Sand holes are hard to dig,” he said.
James suggested he go down to the water’s edge & dig. “Oh no, that would mean I’d get water in the hole. I want a dry hole.”
“Oh, okay,” we grinned. “I’m leaving tomorrow, we’re getting on a plane to Virginia,” George continued.
“Oh yeah? Is that where you live?”
“Oh, no, I live on Misty Oak Lane,” he said, still scooping. James was cracking up. It was time to go and the girls were straggling in from the water. “Virginia’s another country.”
“Er, I think it’s a state,” I said, pushing some sand away from the edge. The hole was about four inches wide at the bottom and he was up to his ankles in sand.
“We like Misty Oak Lane the best, we’ve lived in three places! Misty Oak Lane is the best because it’s near my school and it’s a very good neighborhood. We have friends there and I play in my cousin’s pool….” On and on he rambled, about school, his friends, his mom’s flowers, not looking up, just scooping sand like Bob the Builder. The girls were all standing around grinning by this time, and James and I were laughing out loud. He was so earnest.
“Stop laughing at me!” he said, finally looking up.
“Sorry George, but you’re telling such a good story, I can’t help it,” I said, trying to stop giggling.
He looked up at me, brow wrinkled. “But it’s not a story. I’m telling you what happened.” His eyes were big & green and he had really long eyelashes. He looked at me for a minute and went back to digging.
“Oh, you’re right…it’s your life. Seems like it’s a pretty good life, huh.” I stood up and brushed sand off my jeans.
“Yeah, it’s good. I like the beach.” He looked up again at all of us, who by now had gathered shoes & towels & bags & were on our way out to parents waiting in the parking lot.
“Me too. Well, George of Misty Oak Lane, it was great talking to you. Have a great trip to Virginia and listen to what your MomMom says while you’re visiting. Hope you get to come back soon.”
“Oh I will. We’re coming back August fifteenth. I’m trying to find buried treasure,” he said, resuming digging. “Bye.”
To be on the beach when you’re four has got to be the best time of all. New friends every 10 feet, endless holes to be dug and shells & clams to be found, and when you get too hot or dirty you can just go swimming and then come back & take a nap. I’ll probably never see this kid again, but he totally made my day.