Mark, Age 12, Easton, CT

It was a warm sunny day at Disney World. My family and my grandparents were just finishing up with the, “It’s tough to be a bug,” exhibit. I was about five years old at the time. Since my grandpa was in an electric wheelchair, everyone insisted that I sit with him so I wouldn’t get tired or lost. Being stubborn, I didn’t listen to them. That was a big mistake.

I ended up getting exhausted and lagged behind. My family went to get tickets for a show. One second they were there, the next second they had vanished, as if they had never been there. At first I wasn’t worried about it. I thought that they were on the other side of a group of people. I went around them, and I still didn’t see them anywhere. That’s when I started to get worried. I could hear the chattering of other people discussing where they were going that day. I could smell the saltiness of a pretzel stand behind me. There was a path to the left of me. As I jumped down the small set of stairs to the path, I could feel the icy cold metal railings. As soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs, I knew it was a bad idea. What if my parents didn’t go that way? I could wander too far! I slowly walked back up the stairs starting to taste the salt from my tears. That’s when it happened. One of the girls from the pretzel stand came over to me. “Are y ou okay?” she asked. “I- I’m lo- lost,” I choked. She brought me back to the pretzel stand and set me up on it. She gave me a nice warm pretzel. Its taste was so comforting, that I immediately felt better.

After that, I sat for what seemed to be hours nibbling away at my pretzel. A few minutes later I saw my mom wandering in the crowd. “MOM!” I yelled. She didn’t hear me. “MOM!” I yelled louder. She looked over my way. As soon as she saw me, she rushed over like a cheetah. She hugged me so tight, I could barely breathe. After she said thank you many times to the woman working there, we went back to the rest of the family. Everyone was so happy to see me, hugging me and holding me tight. I was so happy that I wasn’t lost, that I didn’t care if I couldn’t breathe. After that I listened to my parents and sat with my grandpa on his wheelchair. A positive thing that came out of this event is that I realized how much my family loves me. There have been times since than that my parents have said, “stay close”, or “don’t go anywhere”. Each time I thought back to the time in Disney World, and that was enough to make me listen. Because of this one time, I have become more careful and attentive while in public.

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