I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but here goes: when I'm at the beach with my two toddlers, I live with a persistent, low-grade fear that they're going to get swept up by a wave and drown.
Granted, we've been to the beach several times with our girls, and neither of them have ever come close. But even when they aren't in the water, the prospect of it lurks in my mind.
|Renee on the beach|
Sometimes, in my imagination, I see myself scrambling to find one of them in the water, or I see a crowd of people quietly watching from the beach as rescue workers try to resusitate my daughter. It's not real; it's not going to happen - but it stands guard over my mind, ensuring that I'm not fully present, that I don't enjoy the moment.
Aside from my fears about the girls' mortality, I'm regularly correcting them, making sure they're sharing the beach toys, or I'm harping at one of them for pushing the other's face in the sand. Then later on, after we've left the beach, I find myself wishing I could go back in time and just be with them.