In July our adult granddaughters and their families spent a week vacationing in the Outer Banks.  Aaliyah, our almost-three-year-old great-granddaughter, loved playing in the sand and water.  She especially enjoyed digging in the sand with her yellow sand shovel.  Everyone was having a marvelous vacation until her little yellow sand shovel was left lying too close to the water.

When her yellow sand shovel was swept out to sea, Aaliyah considered it a loss of monumental proportions.  She even claimed that she no longer liked the beach because it stole her yellow shovel from her.  She has a flair for the dramatic, but she comes by that naturally.

In the days and weeks and months that followed their vacation, Aaliyah continued to talk about her yellow shovel.  Isn’t it amazing that an almost-three-year-old can remember the loss of her favorite toy yet can’t remember to put her underpants on after using the potty?

Fast forward to September when Jack and I took our annual trip to Ocean City, Maryland, with my sister and brother-in-law.  We were enjoying a pleasant day on the beach when Jack happened to find an abandoned and partially buried yellow sand shovel not too far from the water’s edge.  Jack picked up the shovel, and we both knew immediately that this was a Kodak  Facebook moment. 

Jack washed off the yellow sand shovel in the surf, and I got my camera ready.  Here’s the picture that I posted on Facebook for Aaliyah and all my Facebook friends to see:

This picture is a little misleading considering Jack found the shovel buried in sand rather than riding a wave in the ocean, but a picture of a dirty, sand-covered shovel just wouldn’t have had the same impact as this heroic shot.  (I already told you that Aaliyah isn’t the only family member with a flair for the dramatic.)

I told Justine to be sure to show the picture to Aaliyah, and she did.  I only wish I could have been there to see her face, but Justine says Aaliyah FLIPPED  when she saw the picture.  She screamed, “My yellow shovel!  Pappy went to get it!  Pappy got my shovel!” 

So that’s the truth about how Jack became a hero just by bending down and picking up an abandoned yellow shovel.  

Is it possible that Aaliyah’s yellow sand shovel made the trip from the Outer Banks in North Carolina to Ocean City, Maryland?  Of course not!  But Aaliyah doesn’t know that, and I’m not going to tell her any time soon.

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