Mom’s post to find son’s 6-year-old school friend leads to elementary play date for class

Published 12:40 am Friday, June 9, 2023

PORT NECHES — Every day after school, Rylan Martindale would mention Jaxon Paul.

“It’s so funny,” his mother, Heather Martindale, said. “He couldn’t remember anything else he did in school, but he always remembered what he did with Jaxon.”

Meanwhile, similar conversations were happening with Jaxon and his mom, Destiny Segeada.

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“He really talks about (Rylan) every single day,” Destiny said. “Even when I pick him up from school.”

Well, Rylan, and his “girlfriend” Zoie.

Rylan and Jaxon, both 6, played together every day at Woodcrest Elementary School, both in Brittany Quebedeaux’s first grade class. But they had never met up outside of the classroom.

“Whenever they talk about their classmates, wanting to go to their house, you say, ‘oh maybe one day’ because you don’t know the other parents,” Heather said. “It’s not like it was when we were young and everyone knew everyone.”

Destiny had the same thought, and intended on finding Rylan’s and Zoie’s parents on the last day of school so she could introduce herself and exchange numbers with them, allowing Jaxon and his friends to visit during the summer.

But an unexpected break in a water line cut their last day short, and Destiny was unable to make it.

“He kept on and on every single day,” Destiny said.

“Mom, can you find Rylan?” her son would ask.

She took their class photo and posted it to her Facebook page, asking if anyone knew the parents of her friend’s son. But she had no response.

That’s when her husband suggested she post it to a Port Neches community group.

Within 34 minutes, she had been connected with Rylan’s mom.

“One of his baseball teammates parent’s saw it,” Heather said.

But the post continued to garner attention.

Even Zoie’s mom joined.

And within 24 hours, other parents whose children were in the same class commented.

This Sunday at 2:30 p.m., they’ll meet at the splash pad in Port Neches.

“Rylan is so excited,” Heather said. “Every day he asks if it’s time to go to the splash pad.”

Heather is going to bring a cookie cake for the children to the event Destiny hopes will continue through the summer.

“He’s over the moon,” she said. “He hopes to have slumber parties with Rylan. I’m just completely shocked that I got a response within 34 minutes.”

Next year the students will move to the new Port Neches Primary School, which has brought on a little anxiety for both.

But knowing they’ll still be in school together made Jaxon smile.

“I hope we sit at the same table,” he said of his friends.

Jaxon and Rylan are impatiently waiting for Sunday when they can join with their classmates again.

But to help pass the time, on Wednesday night, the two had a video call for the first time.