NWI Parent

On Beaches and Failures

June 27th, 2011 - By Jamie Bissot

I had grand plans for the first few weeks of summer break. We would alternate days of errands and responsibilities with days in our jammies vegging out on the couch or running through the sprinklers. For the most part, we hit our goal.

After being both productive and unproductive for a few days, we decided to switch it up a bit and head to the beach. We hopped into our swimsuits, loaded up with sunscreen (geez, I hope I got that right) and drove over to the dunes to have a little fun in the sun.

Fail. Ultimate Fail.

The kids just wanted to have a good time, but I was super-anxious about the short one running off and getting lost in the crowd (not really a huge crowd, but still) that I couldn’t relax. With two kids going two different directions, I was a basket-case. I spent 45 minutes of the hour or so we were there giving them lectures on safety and not eating weird things they find in the sand (you’d think this should go unsaid at this point, but…)

After about an hour, I gave up. We packed up and called it a day. Then, the guilt came. All the way home, I was the feeling awful, just sick with guilt. I couldn’t chill out long enough to just let them have a good time. They were behaving wonderfully, just being kids. I was just too uptight and nervous to let them do their thing. The beach fail was my fault – all my fault.

It’s hard as a parent to admit when you’re wrong. Heck, it’s hard as a person to admit you’re wrong – but I was wrong. Lesson learned. I don’t know about anyone else, but parenting for me is about going with my gut and learning from my mistakes.

I’m going back. I’ll be armed with toys and lunch and I’ll set up as close to the water as possible so that no matter where they want to play, I can keep an eye on them. Happy Summer and bring on the sand!

Indian Dunes State Park Beach

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