As I continue to go through our piles of photos, I have been delighted to remember some fun years with our own three kiddos.
This morning I hit the section from a trip we took them on to San Diego. John must have been about six and from there I can figure Sarah was eight and Rachel twelve. But don’t quote me on those ages…
We loved our visit to that beautiful city and took in the zoo, lighthouse, beach and of course Sea World.
The shows at Sea World had us all laughing, but when we were sitting in our stadium seats and the announcer invited anyone who wanted to come down for a “wave” from Shamu, things got dicey.
We all knew it would mean a good dousing of water and of course John was jumping up and down begging to go be a part of it. My response was an absolute and hard no.
It wasn’t the soaking wet child that concerned me.
Our seats were quite a ways up and that was a long way down. No one in our party wanted to get soaked and this exited little boy had no idea that his mother feared someone would nab his cute blonde self and I would never see him again. I was also afraid he would drown or hurt himself by slipping. Or all three.
Because, for me, fear and dread and worse case scenarios have always cast a dark shadow over most of the things that the rest of the population consider to be “fun.”
Our little battle of my fear and his desire to fulfill his wildest dream was calmly interrupted by a complete stranger just down the row from us.
Probably a decade and a half older than me by appearance, he just turned towards us and said, “Oh let him go, mom.”
Something clicked and I sent him on his way with instructions to stay put if he wasn’t sure where we were and we would come to him after the water deluge was over. Or retrieve his body, or whatever…
I will never forget the wall of water coming over and the ecstatic smile on his face as he looked back up at us, soaking wet and laughing so hard.
Needless to say, we got him back in fine shape. He dried off and I have heard God’s whisper sound a lot like that man’s voice over the years that followed.
For all three.
Driving…college…trips abroad…trips within this country…jobs…choices…moves…
As I have run the reel of all the potential dangers and pitfalls they could encounter, I have heard the gentle whisper…
Let them go, mom.
So I continue to stand up in the upper levels of the stadium, watching and praying and cheering them on and more often than not, grinning ear to ear at what they have been able to do, in spite of me.
Thank you, sir, for advocating for John all those years ago as Shamu the whale circled the tank in preparation to splash some joy on our son and on me.
You were a wise one and I am thankful I listened.