It’s night and we’re poolside at the five-star resort hotel.  Jeb and I are visiting friends who have come to stay on the island for the week.  Two dads set up tables with room service fare while a mom and I share a glass of wine.

The kids jump from the pool to the hot tub, giggling, splashing and doing that don’t-run-by-the-pool slick trot.

Kauai skies open, just like they do, and soon huge drops are falling in heavy downpour.  Four adults herd kids, grab plates, and round-up towels making our way to a covered patio.

I realize my backpack and purse are still out in the elements on a lounge chair.  I grab a towel, cover my head and make a dash toward the chairs.  One of the dads is jogging back in my direction, hands full.

“I got your bag.”

I’m still not sure why this was so surprising.  Honestly, I guess I didn’t fully believe him.  There had been a loose sweatshirt, a crumpled t-shirt…surely he hadn’t seen all of my gear and gotten it along with his own family’s stuff.

I continue to the chairs certain I’ll find more of my own things to retrieve.  But no, all is gone.  And when I come out of the rain to the shelter of the patio, the soggy sweatshirt and rumpled t-shirt are right there along with my purse and my backpack.

From around the corner one dad appears with a stack of dry towels still warm from the dryer.  The rain falls heavily on the roof above us.  “I found a secret passageway back to the room that’s dry.”

We towel off then make our way down the carpeted back hallway of the hotel.  Kids bounce ahead in sweatshirts and pajamas.  The two dads follow casually, loaded down with backpacks and tote bags.  The mom and I trail behind.  Me with my gear, she holds a bottle of wine.

I take in the image of two dads walking ahead, carrying bags among the kids.  I sense the chaotic comfort of tribe – family.

I look to my friend with her wine bottle.  “I like this image of the dads happily schlepping gear.  I don’t know why it seems special.  I guess it’s because I’m used to doing it by myself.”

She glances their way as a look of recognition washes across her face.  Like seeing the familiar for the first time.  “Ahhh.”

I smile at her.  “I mean, he got my purse.”

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