We are at the beach in North Carolina this week with extended family, and I just had to share what happened yesterday evening with the baby.
Her dad and I took her down to the water’s edge at low tide just before dinner. She was wearing a t-shirt and overalls to protect her from the sun and insect bites, but the light and the tide and the temperature was all so perfect we decided this was the moment to embrace the ocean for the first time.
Now we’ve all seen different children’s reactions to their first (or 51st) encounter with the sand, salt water, and waves. Some kids just plain don’t like it, and I can’t blame them. They are tiny, and all the forces around them are huge and potentially quite overwhelming; so it was anyone’s guess how our little elf would feel about it all.
Her dad lowered her bare feet to the wet sand. We held our breath. Suddenly we say her “pigglety toes” spread and grab the wetness with a surprisingly strong-looking grasp. She looked down for a few seconds, and dropped to her hands and knees, and then just starting crawling……..out to sea.
No fear, no worries, nothing but direction and excitement and a smile. The low tide kept rolling up, and she kept going. She reached to the side, popped a shell in her mouth, and kept going.
Her father and I are delighted. I’m not sure anything could have done more for our sense of being on the right track with this little one than her warm-hearted embrace of the ocean, and her confidence in where she was as a good place. Naturally, we have to watch this…..she has no idea what danger she could encounter. But I don’t want her to start life with that mindset. There is plenty of time to learn how to analyze risk.
For now, she’s charging the waves, and I think it bodes well.