Not unlike most years, we spent the summer of 2019 in Pacific Beach, California. The boys were 7 and 5 years old. It’s typical for them to make friends with the tourists who come and go each week, and some of the locals. It is not uncommon for their new friends to join us for boogie boarding, roasting smores on the beach, or an afternoon of baseball.
One day when I was sitting out front reading a book, a gentleman (clearly older than me, 39) rode up on his bicycle and said, “Hey! (big smile) Does B live here?”
Me: (looking quizzically at my mom sitting nearby) Yes?
Him: Cool. Cool. I brought these stickers for him. Can you make sure he gets them please?
He smiles and rides away.
2 Days Later.
Him: Hi! Is B here?
Him: Ok. Well here is the address to a skateshop he was asking about. If you give them this paper and tell them my name they will hook him up.
He hands me the paper and I stare at him blankly.
Him: Thanks. Have fun.
We did not go to the skateshop and I did not mention his name to anyone, but at this I definitely had questions. As many parents, I am concerned about who my kids spend their time with. Particularly if they are adults. The world is a crazy place and you have to worry about a myriad of weirdos, including child abductions, and even scarier. On several occasions, my husband went down and introduced himself to Jimmy and got to know him.
2 Days later.
B: Jimmy is going to teach me some tricks in front of the house ok?
Me: Who is Jimmy?
B: My friend that brought me the stickers. He lives here.
My Dad: The old guy with the long hair?
B: (laughing) He’s not old.
My Dad: Ok. I’ll sit out and watch you. You have to stay right in front of the house.
B and Jimmy proceed to skateboard in front of the house. Every night. For two weeks. Turns out Jimmy is a really nice guy. He and the boys became fast friends. One night my girl friend who lives locally in PB came over. She sits down next to me, “Oh you guys know Jimmy. He is so cool.”
Me: He seems nice. Apparently he and B are friends. They do this every night.
Friend: You know who he is right?
Me: What do you mean “who he is”?
Friend: Oh my gosh, hang on. (Googles something and then shows me her phone.)
Friend: He’s like a skateboard legend.
Me: Of course he is. That kid has good taste.
Note: Special thanks to Jimmy for taking both boys under your wing, but particularly B. He lives for the days when he can skateboard with you on the boardwalk or at the skatepark. Thank you for your continued kindness to them both. You are amazing, and we are lucky to call you a friend.