After dinner tonight, I couldn’t bear to be in a hotel room. I’d already been swimming in the afternoon, but I was drawn back out for sunset. Don’t worry, no Kate Chopin – The Awakening-esque stuff going on here, I just love to sit by myself on the beach, especially in the evening.
I remember reading somewhere that you should never turn your back on ocean waves, that even a small wave could overtake an unsuspecting wader. As always, there’s a parenting and relationship metaphor in there, right?
There are the waves (your kids or anybody you’re in relationship with in the world). The waves are going to ebb and flow, and ultimately you have no control over them. So what do you do with the waves? That’s the decision you get to make, again and again.
If you try to wade or swim without paying attention to them, you could quickly find yourself in a dangerous situation.
You could just sit on the shore, reading a book and ignoring the waves. But if you do that forever, I think you’ll miss out on some amazing experiences.
You could fight against the waves, trying to push them in a different direction, but that sounds incredibly frustrating, not to mention exhausting.
I’m trying to remember to choose my favorite option – jumping in and playing, as often as I can. Enjoying the waves for exactly what they are. Respecting their power and strength. Facing and accepting each unique wave.
But even that choice doesn’t mean constant play and interaction. It’s okay to step back to the shore, to sit, rest, and simply observe. The waves will continue to dance and crash, welcoming you back to play, whenever you’re ready.