I took my kids to the beach today which turned out to be one of the busiest beach days of the summer thus far. I was on high alert the entire time, most likely looking like the maniac I was to my friends.
I love the beach and we’ve taken both kids before – but since our son was born I’ve been to the beach solo with both kids all of one time. I brought our pack n play, and umbrella and a ton of snacks and toys for my daughter and camped out for the afternoon on a small (not busy) beach.
Today was a completely different ball game. I looked away once and lost my son. He had walked the waters edge to the pier and was wading in the water. My daughter made it her mission to swim as far as she could, swimmies not on arms.
I think I’ve mentioned it here before but drowning is my worst fear as a parent. Worst. I have bad bad horrible no good dreams about my kids drowning. It’s not a restful feeling. (Obviously) So taking both kids to the beach without another parent helper (ie: Aaron) is a huge deal.
Of course in the photo above (taken early in our adventure today) shows absolutely no one in the water, looks like a calm and easy beach day.
That is incorrect.
After this photo was taken and I found my friends on the beach – I didn’t look at my phone again. Looking away from either direction of my children was not on the list of things I could simultaneously do while keeping them alive.
I usually feel pretty laid back about parenting. I’ve found a rhythm that works well for us – my kids respect my daily boundaries and I keep an active role in their day (reading, playing, facilitating, feeding, baking etc). It’s a give and take, really. But get me near water and that calm, easy going parenting method flies right out the window.
Insert wide eyed helicopter parent who is constantly reminding her children to stay close, don’t go that far, come back, I can’t see you, please wear your life vest, no we can’t swim past the buoys, you want to do what??!
And then running after them.
I fully believe it’s because of who my kids are. Free-willies and complete fish. They love to just explore life, water is not a boundary to them … it’s an adventure. So safety I must be because they are precious cargo to me. Something I do not want to let go of in the tide.