Today’s children live in a world filled with adventure, mental stimulation, topical issues, and personal challenges. The values they learn now, between the ages of 5 and 8, will shape the rest of their lives.
When I was about six years old, I had an adventure that shaped me for the rest of my life. I went to Disneyland with my cousins one week-end and had a wonderful day full of excitement.
Little did I know that the real excitement wasn’t to begin until that night while we watched the fireworks and I began to get an urge to go to the ice cream parlor, but I didn’t want to miss the show. Then I over heard my cousins talking to my aunt, and I got closer to them to hear what they were talking about. “Mom, we’re going to get an ice cream cone.
“Okay,” my aunt replied, “but stay together I don’t want any of you getting lost.” The second I saw my cousins leaving, I didn’t think twice before running off after them without telling my aunt. As I followed them through the huge crowd of people, I started to lose sight of them. I began to panic as I scanned the crowd for them crazy thoughts ran through my head like, what if I never see my family again?
I gave up trying to find my cousins and tried to get back to my family, but I was completely mixed up. After searching for what seemed like forever, I couldn’t hold back the tears, and I started crying like I had never cried before. “Mommy!” I cried out. But everyone around me was too caught up by the fireworks to pay attention to me.
I tried to stop the scary thoughts that were going through my head and started running as fast as I could… anywhere and everywhere. I was going crazy. I’m only six, and I’ve gotten lost. What have I done? How could I have been so dumb to run off without telling anyone? I thought.
With my face wet from tears, I kept running, pulling at people’s pants and crying, “Mommy!” I was hoping and wishing, that one of those adults would be one of my parents. Luckily, I tugged at a lady who worked at Disneyland, and she asked me, “Are you lost?” “Yeeesss!” I cried.
She picked me up and carried me through the crowd as she kept asking me where my parents had been standing. As I began to feel safe in the Lady’s arms, I calmed down and thought for a few minutes I remembered we had leaned against a wooden fence. She carried me around the wooden fence, asking random people, “Is this your child?” “No. Sorry,” everyone kept saying. You’re sorry? Look at me. I’m looking for my mommy. I thought.
Then I began to cry uncontrollably because it hit me that my parents didn’t live together any more and I wondered if they could stop loving each other could they stop loving me too? Did this mean I really wasn’t anybody’s child any more?
Finally, through the crowd of people, I recognized a face. I was so happy. “Daddy!” I shouted as I pointed toward him and the lady carried me to him. When the lady put me down, I ran to my daddy and gave him a huge hug. I couldn’t let go of him. I didn’t want to lose him again. As I cried in my daddy’s arms, my aunt and cousins thanked the nice lady for everything she had done for me.
For the rest of the evening and the entire next day I was more concerned with making sure that my daddy and the rest of his family were within my sight at all times, than I was with seeing the sights at Disneyland. My daddy called my mommy on the phone and they both told me how much they loved me. I asked them even if they didn’t love each other any more did they still love me? They said yes and I never doubted that they loved me again.
I look back on these memories and laugh at myself but to this day, I always make sure to tell someone where I am going before I run off to get ice cream especially at Disneyland.