A Mom's Open Letter To A Dad At The Beach Building A 'Sand Village' With A Bunch Of Kids After Her Son Wanted To Destroy It

One stranger made the world of a difference in the way he handled her son's disability.

Jess Martini talking about the beach with her son on TikTok @jesmartini / TikTok; Falcona / Shutterstock

A mother’s trip to the beach recently was made better thanks to a father that stepped up and made her kid feel included in the beach activities that his kids were partaking in. As the mother of a child with special needs, Jess Martini said his actions greatly impacted her and her son and brought her to tears by the end of her video.

She explained that her son always had trouble fitting in, but the dad helped him fit in the only way he knew how.


The dad helped her special needs son feel included in building a sand village when he tried to destroy it.

“This is to the dad at the Delaware beach [who] was building a giant village on the shoreline with his two kids and a few others because I wanted you to know that you are making the world a better place in probably seemingly small, but truly significant ways,” she opened her video.

She continued to explain what happened, telling the father that although he might not remember what had happened, she would never forget how much it meant to her and her son.



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As the father was building his sand village with the kids, two of her three sons came over and wanted to join in on the fun. One of her sons jumped right in and started helping with the construction of the village, but the other boy struggled to figure out how he could join the activity.

“You had no way of knowing this, but my other son really struggles with activities like that,” she explained. “[Activities] that require structure and focus, and communication with others towards a common goal. But he wanted so badly to be a part of [it], so he joined in the way that he knew how.”

The only way her son knew how to join in was to become a monster. “He pretended to be a monster, a lava monster, specifically,” she explains. “I saw the other kids [were] not really sure what to make of him thrashing around, and then I heard him say, ‘The lava monster is gonna smash the village.’”

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She nearly stopped her son before the father stepped in to make him feel included.

“I was about to stop him because, in his attempt to gain friends, he was about to upset all the other kids there,” she continues. “Before I could do that, you stepped in and said, ‘That's awesome that you're a lava monster. We need a lava monster on our team. Can you help us protect the city?’”

The father was able to use what Martini’s son was giving him and work with it in a way that didn’t disrupt everyone else but allowed him to join in — he was now a part of the team. Even though her son could only think about joining in as a lava monster, he would now be enlisted as protection instead of causing destruction, and Martini’s son could work with that.

This is when Martini gets emotional and tears start to flow from her eyes, seeing as this man was a complete stranger who had no idea that her son might have struggled with fitting in his entire childhood. “Just like that, my son was accepted and included and all the other kids realized how to play with him too, and he got to be a part of the game in his own way.”

Her caption reads “I actually never did find the dad,” but she wanted to make the video in hopes that it would reach him so she could thank him. “I don't know if that moment was small for you, but it wasn't for me, and it wasn't for my son, and I just wanted to say thank you.”


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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.