We spent the evening at the beach. It was gorgeous. Where we live, the air is starting to dry out, the water remains warm, the evenings are cooler and breezy.
Our kids were in the water, later my husband joined them. We were near a mom and her young daughter. She was there when we got there, and we stayed for a couple hours. I was just so impressed: I’ve never taken our kids to the beach without another adult with me. I could now, I’m sure, since the kids are strong enough swimmers to save me if necessary, but when they were two or three or even four? I’d have been a basket-case, worrying about water safety and general beach logistics… I’m pretty sure my level of stress would have ruined the outing. (Our children and my husband are pretty sure, too.)
But this mom, she was just hanging out, relaxed, enjoying her daughter, seeming to have not a single worry. I wanted to go back in time and be like her, just once.
At one point, as the sun started to set, the mom took her daughter to the water’s edge, and they sat there, letting the waves lap over them. The light was so perfect and the little girl’s giggles were just so infectious. I couldn’t help it, I went over to them.
“Excuse me, are you here alone?”
“The light is just so nice and you both look so happy… can I take a picture and text it to you? It’s so hard to get pictures of moms with their kids, especially if moms are like me and always taking the pictures!”
“Well, yes, sure, I would love that!”
They posed, I took a few pictures with my phone, and sent them. I didn’t think it was that big a deal: last year during a beach trip, a little boy ended up in some pictures I took of our kids… I introduced myself to and showed his mother the pictures and emailed them to her (I had used an actual camera–remember those?). She emailed a “thanks” and that was that.
But this mom today… I sent her those pictures, and she messaged me this (identifying information removed).
She made my day. Actually, I think she made my year.
And I’m going to text her the link to this post. My kindness and caring? She brought it out of me. She compelled me.