There’s something uplifting about watching a hippie hi-five strangers. You can’t help but smile, maybe even laugh out loud. I suppose the end is achieved, at least in their minds, good karma spreads.
We went to ComFest yesterday. Set up camp under a nice shady tree and chilled with about 10 or 12 thousand other people looking to do the same. About 30 yards from us a small band of merry parked themselves by the sidewalk, a main corridor to all places Fest, and simply hi-fived every single person that passed them by. For over 2 hours! It was one of the coolest things I saw all day.
As ComFest stories go, that would have been a sufficient one to bring back with us. The take-home message being that being good to other people is a good thing to do. It makes them happy.
The story, however, will forever pale in comparison to the reason we will always remember this year’s ComFest.
The Andy Shaw Band was performing on the Gazebo Stage in a pretty decent time slot. We had hung around to see them as my wife is related — cousin?, uncle? — something like that. Anyway, towards the end of the set Maura and her sister took Zoë and Zane down to the stage for a closer look. I hung back with my brother-in-law and the rest of my brood.
When the set finished (about 2 songs later) Maura and the kids made their way back to our little camp and Zoë and Zane began regaling us with terms like cool and awesome. Somewhere in the distance over the PA we heard, maybe a bit muffled, “We’ve got a little boy named Sam and he’s looking for his mommy. Can Maura please return to the stage.”
I looked at Maura and said, “they just called your name.” I hadn’t really caught the beginning of the message and thought that maybe her cousin was calling her back to the stage to talk.
Maura responded, “Not me. Some other idiot has lost their kid. Mine are all accounted for. Zoë… Zane… Zella… Zia… —–WHERE’S ZANDER!!!”
The message on the PA repeated quite more clearly this time, “Could Maura please return to the stage to get ZANDER.”
Holy crap, I lost my son!!!!
He literally must have followed Maura to the stage when they left earlier because I never noticed him gone. I counted Zella and Zia several times but never missed Zander.
I quickly ran through the crowds to the stage where Zander was stood in the middle of about 12 volunteers with the biggest grin I have ever seen on his face, clearly enjoying the attention he was receiving. He waved and pointed at me when he saw me and simply said, “hey Dad.”
He was mum on how and when he had actually slipped away revealing only that he was looking for mom. I’d like to say I was panic stricken and frantic, sick at the thought of my child having vanished during those minutes he was missing. I’d like to, but the sad reality is that I hadn’t even realized he was gone. (Those points for Parent of the Year keep piling up, people and I think with this one I’ve clearly outdistanced myself from the rest of the pack.)
As I made my way back through the crowds another announcement was made on the PA. “It’s OK everyone, Zander’s dad got him.” I waved as the crowd cheered.
I thought back to earlier in the afternoon, to a hi-five from a hippie and how grateful I now was for the good karma he had spread my way.