The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Fearless Toddler, Frightened Mama

We are at a beach in China Camp.  It is nine in the morning, pleasantly warm, but overcast.  My seventeen-month old daughter wobble-walks solo in the rocky sand.  My nearly six-year old son is next to me on the beach as we make our way to the lapping waves. 

My oldest child fires off a string of questions.  “Mama, can I go into the water?  Can I swim?  Do I need to wear shoes? Mama, are there sharks here?” 

He holds my hand until he sees things at his feet that interest him.  Suddenly, he stoops to gather special stones and sea glass from the beach, and carefully places these treasures into his bucket. 

My son excitedly shouts, “Look at the fish jumping out of the water!”  He hops up and down and points.  Then he skip-runs to catch up to me. 

He looks where I am looking.

I watch his sister marching ahead of us, getting rocky sand in my shoes as I pick up my pace.  He urgently warns me that she is almost at the water’s edge and hurries with me in a quest to restrain her from going in unattended. 

My daughter has a pail in one dimpled hand, a shovel in the other.  Her diapered bottom makes her walk with her knees out, as if she is saddle sore.  She confidently toddles toward the calm water.  The little one is almost there.  There is no regard for safety, or for my warning, “Wait for Mama!”  She has no concern for her unbuckled, pink shoe or for the floppy hat that just blew off her head. 

The girl marches on. 

She reaches the water’s edge, and continues her march into the Bay, squealing with glee.  Her brother manages to distract her by asking if she wants a cookie, while doing a silly dance.  She stops momentarily, looks back at him, and shouts, “Coo-key!”  

My youngest is three steps in.  The water level reaches her diapered bottom and thrillingly makes her teeter.

She is elated. 

I feel panic.  I run the last few steps, splash into the water, grab her wrist, and steady her.

I am relieved… and wet. 

My son is cautious.  My daughter takes risks.  Part of it is experience (or lack thereof).  He is four and a half years older than she, but part of it is just in one’s nature.  From where does her propensity for risk-taking come?  I would never voluntarily parachute from an airplane, or dive with sharks, or travel abroad without reservations.  Neither would my husband, (or my son for that matter). 

She will.  I am certain.

By Jennifer Taekman

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