Nothing like passing on your fears (more tales from the beach )

The warmth of the sun,
The ocean’s rhythmic wooshing…
My soul is happy.

I love the ocean. See the picture below from our hotel room for this Florida vacation.


I can hear the ocean rise and fall from our balcony. If you sit at the table in the kitchenette and look outside, you can only see the water, no sand –it is like you are on a cruise. (Cruise = heaven on earth for me)

I have rented two loungers and an umbrella for the week. They are about 30 feet from the water. Glorious view over the top of my book, past my sandy toes, toward the pretty blue hues.

Here’s the problem. I am perfectly happy to stay 30 feet from the water. I don’t mind walking around in the foamy bits, wading out a foot or so and letting my feet get sucked into the sand. That’s fun too. But I’m really totally fine going no further into the water.

Call me a victim of the 70’s and the movie Jaws. I know the chances of me getting eaten by a shark are more remote than my chances of winning the lottery (I didn’t look that up, I’m just hoping this is true; if you tell me otherwise, I’ll delete your comment). But I don’t care. I can’t see through it and there are no boundaries… that’s enough for me to stay at the edge.

My far-braver husband has no such worries. He takes both kids out 40 feet from shore (it is still quite shallow) and paddles around. All the time I’m completely panicked, watching from my umbrella shaded oasis. I motion them back closer to shore out of simple fear, always scanning the water for tell-tale bad omens. I am such a wimp.

Nevertheless I felt a little bad yesterday when my daughter got spooked. While way out with Frank, she saw a jelly fish. It wasn’t so close as to sting her, but enough to make her swim a hasty retreat back to the shore, where she remained for the rest of our beach time. Why did I feel bad? Because I was so happy. Happy that she was close in and happy to let my irrational fears take a nap for a while since she was not out to sea.  Let’s be clear – I don’t  scare my kids with death-tales-of-the-deep; but my actions (staying close to shore; asking them to not swim out so far) likely speak for themselves.

Today she once again didn’t want to venture out far… my happiness was tainted with a little regret that her innocent naiveté about the ocean has been burst, but not so much that I encouraged her to go out. Instead, I set up the sand toys and the pop up tent right next to me, a safe 30 feet away from the sharks, jelly fish and vicious rip tides.

Mother of the year – clearly lost it again.

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