On a trip up to Lake Champlain with his family, Paul Stevens decided to visit a hat shop. What he found inside will change his family’s relationship forever.
Paul Stevens, his wife Maria Stevens, and his son, Mark Stevens, thought it was going to be a great family trip up to Lake Champlain before the summer ended and Mark had to go back to his first year of middle school. Maria thought that this was exactly what their family needed.
On their hour long drive up to Lake Champlain, they played many road games, such as the alphabet game and the license plates game. “I’ve never felt closer to my family than in that moment.” Paul recounted.
Their time there was filled with laughter and love. Until their second day.
The family decided to take a walk on the beach, but what they found was different than most places: they found a hat shop. The Stevens had visited many hat shops before it, but nothing like this.
Entering the hat shop Paul found the hat of his dreams. “I wanted it to be a surprise. This hat, I was ready to make it my own.”
On their last day walking on the beach, the Stevens were enjoying their few remaining hours at Lake Champlain. Mark decided to bring out the hat. His wife Maria recounts what happened next. “The next few moments, nothing on this earth could’ve prepared us for. Mark told us he had a surprise for the family; he told us he brought a new family member home.”
Mark wore his hat with as much pride as a father taking his family to Lake Champlain for a vacation could have.
This was the defining moment in Mark’s and Paul’s relationship. Mark ran. He ran as fast as a child could. Mark told us, “That man… That man was not my father…”
Onlooker Cullen Putern looked in horror as the situation played out. “I didn’t really understand what was happening. I was walking with my body pillow girlfriend and I looked over to see a man walking like a crab chasing a little boy. Now, I come from the big city, and I’ve seen some cooky stuff, but this for sure takes my cake.”