Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Where's Your Mommy?

This 4th of July we took a family trip to the beach.

Sidenote before I get to my story – people watching at the beach?  Priceless.  If ever you need a boost to your self-confidence that is the place to go. Well, there and the State Fair.

Anywho, so we’re at the beach and having a grand old time while I get sunburned and Randy gets sunburned and Keagan plays in the water laughing and giggling and splashing.  We’re having so much fun, our little family, when up walks this adorable little girl, who informs me she is three and wants to play with Keagan.

Mommy was VERY proud when Keagan shared his bucket with the little girl and even prouder when he laughed hysterically when she splashed him with water.

We’re in the water for a good 30 minutes while the kids are playing together when I realize this little girl?  Yeah, she’s all alone.  In the water.  By herself.  No parents in sight.  Three years old, in the water, by herself, chilling with two adults that she has never seen before in her life.

Now, I’m sorry and maybe I’m a little over-protective BUT, if I saw my kid being chatted up by two adults I didn’t know you can pretty much guarantee I would make my presence known ASAP.  Not to mention, THEY ARE IN THE WATER.

But no.  No adult.  Not in the water.  Not on the shore line.  Nada.

I asked her where her mommy was to which she answered “Over there, somewhere…”  I scan the shoreline once again, to no avail.

Now I’m worried.  And I’m angry.  Who does this?  Who puts their adorable little girl in a swimsuit, points them at the water and pretty much walks away?  WHO DOES THIS?

So, while Randy and Keagan continued to play I went up to the lifeguard stand and let them know that this little girl is by herself, in the water with no parent in sight and could they do something about that?  Thank God they are proficient at their jobs.  Quickly they sent another lifeguard out to talk to her and to walk the beach looking for her people.

From our chair I watched as this lifeguard and the little girl walked the beach.  I watched for almost 20 minutes as they combed this not very large beach looking for someone, hoping that any minute I would see a frantic parent come running up to her, clutching her to her chest, half terrified that they had lost their precious child.  For 20 minutes I watched and waited.

Finally they must have found who I can only assume were her big sisters who were tasked with keeping an eye on their little sister.  Not 10 minutes later she was on her own again.

This poor child.  Is this a foreshadowing of what is in store for her?  To walk alone on a beach with no one wondering where she is?  To not be cared about enough to even have a life jacket on while playing in a lake alone?  It made my heart heavy to watch her walk back and forth on the beach with the lifeguard looking for the person that is supposed to love her more than life itself to no avail. 

Selfish as this sounds, it made me realize that I am a good parent.  That I am the parent standing in the water watching over her own, and those around her.  It made me realize that even on my worst days; I’m still a great parent.  I’m a great parent because I know that I could never point my child at the water and say good luck.  I’m a great parent because the alternative is too horrifying to imagine.  If only there were more great parents.


Miranda said...

I just...well, I've typed a profanity or three at least 5 times and deleted it because I want to keep it classy.


I mean, do I let Joshua wander sometimes a little too far from my site in Target? Yes, maybe. BUT NOT AT THE BEACH. What the!?

Glad you were there.

Sandy said...

That's heartbreaking and angering at the same time! I believe in independence but seriously?!?! What's worse is how often similar situations occur. Discusting.

Jenn said...

Blog more. I miss you.

And that poor girl. I'm glad you went to the lifeguards, but you won't be there next time when she's alone at a crowded store, or in her yard by a busy street. Heartbreaking.

Stephanie said...

That's terrible, I've had nightmares about getting separated from Aidan at amusement parks before, and I wake up terrified in a cold sweat. How could you not be right there watching your kid in such a public place with weirdos everywhere? What's wrong with people. And yes, you are a good mother!!

Francine said...

How quickly something awful could have happened. I just read that a 4 yr old girl drowned at a local lake. Her parents tasked an older sibling to watch her and just like that, she is now gone. It's so beyond my realm of thinking to leave a little one unattended. I just can't wrap my head around it. So glad you were there.

pinkflipflops said...

who does that?????????

Julie S. said...

Wow, seriously? I can't even imagine taking my eyes off of Brayden for 10 seconds let alone 10 minutes or more! Glad you were there to keep an eye on her, and more importantly, keep her safe.