From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

Disney Magic

When I was about six years old, my family and I went to Disneyland one weekend 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, I began to get an urge to go to the restroom, but I didn’t want to miss the show. I overheard my sister Isabel talking to my mom, and I got closer to them to hear what they were talking about.

“Mom, I’m going to the bathroom with Lizette, okay?” said Isabel.

“Okay,” my mom replied, “but stay together. I don’t want any of you getting lost.”

The second I saw my sisters leaving, I didn’t think twice before running after them—without telling my parents. 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 sisters 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 my 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 any 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 . . . 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, wishing, that one of these 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 been leaning 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.

Finally, through the crowd of people, I recognized a face. I was so happy. “Mommy!” I shouted as I pointed toward her so the lady could carry me to her. When the lady put me down, I ran to my mom and gave her a huge hug. I couldn’t let go of her. I didn’t want to lose her again. As I cried in my mother’s arms, my family 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 parents were within my sight at all times than I was with seeing the sights at Disneyland.

I look back at 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.

Bryan Martinez

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