Lost! And Found...
I suprisingly get lost quite often.
I don't particularly like to let on that I am lost, as it typically wounds my pride. I don't do well with vague directions. Or any directions. While I don’t like to pass blame, I’m just going to blame it on my grandmother. Children don’t just get lost, someone has to leave them behind. So I like to believe that my useless wandering comes from how much time I spent wandering as a child.
My grandmother was as doting as any grandmother. She liked to take us to the mall, to the zoo, to so many movies, and one time she even brought us to DisneyWorld.
Now you’d think these are all the typical places to lose a child, and you’re right. She almost left me behind in every single location she took me to.
Luckily my older sister is always the brains of the operation, so when my grandma wanted to leave us in the Mall of America lobby to look for a doll shoe I had dropped at the bus station, my sister protested.
My grandma just threw the accusation of abandoning us over her shoulder and most likely said something along the lines of, “The more eyes the merrier!”
While it isn’t atypical for me to get lost on my own, it makes a child quite uneasy when being left behind in a strange place such as a giant mall.
Now you’re probably wondering, “How does a child get left behind in DisneyWorld?” It’s actually quite easy. The crowds are big, and everyone’s trying to get to one place or another, and then someone just gets lost.
I will say there are plenty of maps all over the parks, and plenty of friendly people to ask directions from, but it’s not as easy for a 6-year-old.
It happened when we were on our way to a train, which would take us back to our hotel rooms and suites. I had been holding my grandmother’s hand in a crowded park. She had only let go of my hand for a second to look at the map she had been holding to navigate our way to the train, but when I looked back up she had disappeared.
Yes, if you’re wondering, I did immediately burst into tears. It was the farthest I’ve ever been from home, and suddenly my grandmother had disappeared right in front of me. If I was capable of it I’m sure I would have started hyperventilating.
Luckily there was a very nice security guard who immediately pulled me off to the side to console me. My crying also attracted the attention of seemingly every other grandmother in the park, as I was suddenly bombarded with questions from random sweet old ladies.
“Who are you here with?” “What does she look like, dear?” “Don’t worry, we’ll find her.”
While all the sentiment was sweet, and I will say I did enjoy the attention, my grandmother eventually did find me. I’m not sure how long it did take her, as the memory is rather vague, but I will say I can still sometimes feel her death grip on my upper arm.
While my grandma did continue to lose me in random places until the end of her days, I’ll say that she still loses me sometimes.
Her memory (and death grip) live on whenever I can’t find where I’m meant to be.