To the adorable couple we met at the water park a few weeks back with whom we forgot to exchange numbers, my husband and I mourn the loss of a friendship with you that we never had. It isn’t every day that you meet your family’s soul family, which is exactly what you were, and we are deeply afraid that we’ve let you slip through our needy, obsessive little fingers.
There we were, joyfully discovering the Ojai Water Park for the very first time. My hubby was looking especially handsome in his Euro style swimsuit. Weston was in utter ecstasy, frolicking in the water. I was adoringly snapping pics of my boys. We had just returned to our belongings to take a break from the hot sun, our bodies wet with perspiration.
We saw you out of the corner of our eyes. You were seated just a few chairs away in the shade, tending to your newborn son and Shirley Temple look-a-like daughter. You were so cute – Barbie and Ken surfer edition kind of cute – and I knew by the look of your stroller and your matching suits that you were the kind of people I wanted to know better. We exchanged smiles and glances several times but I could tell there was timidness in the air.
I can’t remember who made the first move. Perhaps the kids sensed our nervousness and did the initiating for us. Oh, but once the conversation started to flow the floodgates to my heart opened up and angels rejoiced!
You weren’t weird or rude. You weren’t annoyed that we were invading your space or that my son was practically arm wrestling your daughter for her doll. You didn’t flinch when I offered your daughter a grape or ask if they were organic or washed or from a locally grown farmer. You weren’t introverted or judgmental or opinionated or snobby. No. You weren’t any of those things. You were friendly and young and smart and fun and down to earth and when we laughed together it felt like we had known each other for years.
We shared our love for all things Santa Barbara, your hometown and my Alma Mater. We talked about kids and life and all the things that friends talk about. It was magical. My husband and I could feel ourselves falling for you but we knew it was too soon to ask for your number. Patience we said.
After chatting and getting to know each other better we all ventured back into the water. We looked like mirror images of each other except for the fact that we were without a newborn. You asked me to hold your son while you helped Shirley Temple off of the water slide. There I was, a complete stranger holding your baby boy and I knew that this was the real deal.
We were in family love.
All of a sudden I envisioned us on vacations together, sipping Pina Coladas to the sound of Jimmy Buffet. I pictured park outings and play dates, matching SUVs and coordinating Halloween costumes. Maybe Weston would fall in love with Shirley Temple and we would become a family!? Oh, the possibilities.
But as is common, Weston was hungry and cranky and so we ventured off to find food. What started off as a “we’ll be right back” turned into “we’re leaving NOW” and as fate would have it, you were nowhere to be found when we came back to retrieve our bags. Should we wait while Weston continued to have a meltdown in the heat? Should we leave a note? Would that be creepy?
Alas, the decision to leave without finding you has left us brokenhearted for all eternity. The emptiness and loneliness we feel weighs heavy on our hearts and the sad longing is only one our reunion can heal.
How evil of the Gods to bring us together only to rip us apart.
If you see this please know that it wasn’t you, it was us. It was love at first sight, just bad timing. Should fate bring us together again we promise to seize the opportunity and unite our tribes in the common gesture known as “asking for your digits”…and then we can live happily ever after.