Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Own It

For the past several years, Tuesday has been our traditional summer beach day. 
Don't get me wrong, we also go to the beach on many other days! 
But we always know for sure that we'll be there on Tuesdays.
Yesterday was our first official "Tuesday at the Beach" and a couple of friends joined us.
When we got to the beach in the morning, we saw a little girl, about 2 walking what appeared to be alone, by the water.
My friend said, "Now here is a question, where is that kid's mom?"
For some reason I felt the need to defend the child and the absent parent, "Some kids can swim at really young ages, you'd be surprised to see Macky swimming now!"
"Yea, but this is the ocean," she said.
I looked around again, over my shoulder, behind me, to the sides, no attentive parent in sight, just 2 lifeguards chatting next to us.
Then, as if narrating a play, my friend began, "There she goes."
The little one now had her feet wet and a sand pail was drifting in the surf.
"And she see the pail and she's going for it."
As the tide pulled the pail out, she followed and went down in the water.  I instantly starting sprinting down the sand into the sea.  There was a little boy, about 5, who had tried to grab the little girl but the ocean doesn't discriminate against age.  I picked up the little girl out of the water, my heart was racing.  As I turned around and walked out of the water, her mother appeared and began to scold her.  "What are you doing?  Why did you do that?"  She grabbed her child and slightly out of breath I said, "she was down here alone."
The mother sharply said, "I was watching her the whole time!"
As I made my way back to my friend, she was livid!  I was still trying to catch my breath, my heart was beating out of my chest.
I watched the mother walk past the lifeguards who stopped her to talk to her, then she continued to walk about 10 yards behind where we were.  She was camped no where near the water's edge and was way too far away to simple be "watching" while her tiny child navigated the ocean's tide.
I told my friend what she said, how she scolded the little one and didn't even bother to thank me.
Luckily we were intently watching the little girl and were close enough that it wasn't a super close call, but what really bothered me was the mom's reaction.  She didn't own anything.  Instead, she blamed the child!  The little 2 year old child!
We all make mistakes as moms.
We all know that you can turn around for a second and your child is gone!
We all make bad choices sometimes.
"Oh my goodness, thank you so much for grabbing my child.  Sweetheart are you ok?  Mommy shouldn't have let you wander that far away.  I'm sorry."
That would have been a better response.
Just like I was quick to defend the little one and the absent parent at the beginning of the story,
I struggle with being defensive.  I have a hard time owning my stuff sometimes!
Not being able to own it and quickly say, "I'm sorry," is something I'm working on.
After my day at the beach yesterday, I think I'll speed up that process!
Grab button for capturing motherhood


  1. This is part of what the message was about on Sunday at church, too. Good word, for sure, sister.

  2. That could have ended so badly! Glad it all worked out!



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