Friday, July 22, 2011
Anxiety at the Water's Edge
She stood there. Panicked. At the edge of the water. It was a hot day, very hot. Her sisters had run in ahead of her with much screaming and splashing. Right in to the cool water. And she had run right up to the edge and stopped. Because all she saw was brown water. And floating bits of forest. And she couldn't see the bottom. And she began to fall apart. Mom, what else is in there? Mom, what are those brown things? Mom, what if I step on something? Mom, I don't like this...
To be fair, this child does a lot of swimming in pools, where the water is chlorinated and the only floating things are inflatable toys. This lake was brown. The bottom was covered with all sorts of unknown things. There were large mouthed creatures, other than her two sisters, swimming around in its murky depths. And it was very, very scary. She decided quickly, that getting in the water was not something she had any intention of doing.
I was unbelievably frustrated on the hot day when it happened. This was the water that was going to keep us cool on the hot summer days and she was not going to participate. This was our lake vacation and she was boycotting the lake. In hindsight, I am able to see it a bit differently.
We are not all the kind of people that can jump right in to something brand new and completely unknown. Caution isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes being up high, out of the water, where you can see where you are going and steer clear of what's coming at you is the perfect place to be.