Shallow enough for you to touch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

We’re at the beach this week with Nana and Papaw. Right now it’s 9:00pm and you 3 are sound asleep on the couch after a long day at the beach and pool. I’ll write you another letter later to tell you all about and show you pictures from our trip.

Izzy, today you and I got to spend an hour at the beach, just the two of us. We boogie boarded, dug holes and swam under waves looking at each other through our goggles. For awhile though, I sat on the beach and watched you play in the water by yourself.

It wasn’t that long ago that Mommy and I would bring you to the beach, when it was just the 3 of us, and you’d run for the water’s edge, arms stretched wide, and then stop, and run back before the water touched your toes. Only gradually did you ease into the water over the years – like most kids. Now you’re a swim team kid, and since last summer, a triathlete yourself.

Today I watched you launch onto your boogie board in your surf shirt, kick into the waves, and dip below oncoming waves (yes, small ones). You rode back into shore “trying to get in the tube” over and over. You came back to the beach after awhile and lead me into the water.

You said, “come on daddy! Let’s go out deep. You said we’d go out when Max and Kate weren’t with us.”

You were right. I said that. But my parental instincts kicked in and this time I said “No. We can’t go out too far, baby. This is far enough.”

“Why daddy?” you said. “I can swim. Let’s go out just a little farther.”

And for a moment my heart quickened as I thought about pulling you farther out into the ocean on your boogie board. Only for a moment. I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

You haven’t learned to fear the unknown yet, Izzy. That comes with age, not necessarily with knowledge or wisdom, but certainly with age. The possible consequences of taking my first baby into the deeper water ran through my head. Even as you asked repeatedly, I guided you back into the shallower water. Shallow enough for you to touch and see the bottom easily.

I love you,

– Daddy

“Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.” – Hosea Ballou


Sunday: 6am -Ran 30 easy minutes (first run since Rev3 Knoxville two weeks ago)

Monday: 6 am – Ran 30 easy minutes