Posted by: Beth | May 15, 2022

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Oh, that would be so nice!

I watched as children splashed, swam, and played around in the pool.  Their parents sat at a nearby table, dressed NOT in swimwear but as if they are headed to dinner at a sit-down restaurant.  HOW in the world can you DO that? Well, I’m sure it helps that your children are confident and secure being in the water twenty or forty feet away from you.  Meanwhile, we have one grandson, aka fishmonkey, who happily swam away and started conversations with others, and one who clung to me like white – or brown- on rice.   There I stood in three feet of blissfully cool water, encouraging him to put at least a little space between us.  “I’ve got you.  I’m not going to turn loose.  You have on a life jacket.  You are fine.”  I sighed deeply as I thought, “This is not a restful vacation.  This is work in a different place.”

Across the street at the ocean, a similar scene played out. Fishmonkey needed someone very near him because he is fearless and would go out too far.  Honestly, you can’t hear well over the sound of waves.  And clingy one would barely get into the water, and only if I was with him.

Fast-forward just one year.

I sat beside the pool, dressed in shorts and a shirt and watched BOTH boys playing in the water.  Fishmonkey splashed everywhere and talked with people.  Little clingy one, secure in a floatie, clung not to me but to the edge of the pool, venturing toward the middle from time to time.  He contentedly played by himself until time to get ready for bed.

At the ocean, they both played in the edge of the water. The threat of rip tides was high, so none of us ventured out past our knees.  Okay, fishmonkey went out waist deep on the days the ocean was calm.  They built sand forts and dug for treasure. Sometimes I was out in the water, too.  BUT I was able at other times to wear my shorts and shirt or a summer dress, sit nearby, and watch them.  It was nice.  Very nice.

Parents and caregivers of young children — yes, they will grow up.  No, they will not be permanently attached to your hip.  It will seem like it. For some children it is a very long and sometimes painful process moving away from clingy. However, time passes and things change.  Let us attempt to find contentment wherever we are.


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