When we heard Hurricane Bill was heading our way last week, and that we were supposed to get waves over 20 feet high, Ali (age 18) asked if she could drive to Bar Harbor with her boyfriend over the weekend to see them. I said, “The roads into Bar Harbor aren’t 20 feet high so you could get stuck there. No, you can’t go. In fact, you can’t go anywhere this weekend.” She didn’t argue, knowing that I was 18 once, too. There were plenty of times when I told my Mom I was going one place when, in fact, I was heading for the beach. (Sorry, Mom…)
On Sunday morning, we knew Bill hadn’t gotten as close to Maine as they’d originally predicted and I had a passing thought that maybe we should drive out to Bar Harbor for the day and show the kids the diminished surf from the hurricane. We could go to Thunder Hole, which has an awesome view of the Atlantic. Then, I thought maybe that wasn’t such a great idea after all (maybe it was still dangerous?). Besides, it was my day off and I’d vowed to take the ENTIRE day off because I’d been swamped with work the week before. I then didn’t give it any more thought, and stayed in our room most of the day, cuddling with Richard and watching movies.
Being addicted to reading news on my iphone, I was checking the headlines in the afternoon and saw a story about some wave watchers at Thunder Hole who had been washed into the ocean. One little girl, who was Max’s age (7), died. I was sick. Oh my God. We could have been there! I mean, we would never climb on the rocks there because it’s protected area (it’s a national park and you are not supposed to walk on the rocks…but careless people still do). But Frank, our 16-year-old, got a tongue-lashing a couple of years ago for sneaking out on those rocks when we weren’t looking. Even if we’d been okay, the children may very well have seen the tragedy as it occurred.
Years ago, when Zach was about three or four, I saw a drowned little girl being given CPR. She’d been swimming with her family in the Gulf of Mexico, near the mouth of a river. Her mother was rubbing her feet and begging her to breathe. She did not make it. Seeing something like that when you’re young can really mess you up and I still get upset when I think about it. Then, I feel guilty for feeling bad myself when the family went through the worst experience a human can.
Anyway, I’m hugging my kids a bit tighter and longer this week and thanking the good Lord for using my inner voice to remind me how stupid the idea was!
This week’s Maxism:
“I wanna give myself a raspberry.”
Hugs to all!
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