I worry. I’ve always worried but it’s become worse since I have become a parent. I can see all of the potential injuries that the world has to offer. This was not so much of an issue when my kids were younger and the potential injuries small but they have gotten older and have a wonderful love for nature, amusement park rides and all things thrilling. Despite my own neurosis I am thrilled with the fact that the girls are fearless adventures.
During our recent vacation we visited the Bevertail Lighthouse in Rhode Island. This lighthouse is at the southern tip of Johnstown, RI. From there you can see Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. We didn’t get to visit the lighthouse itself but we were able to walk around the grounds, which included rocky cliffs of huge boulders that led to the ocean.
About now you’re wondering how a post that started with neurosis and worry lead to the story of a lighthouse. Well as I said before the lighthouse area was surrounded by huge boulders and rocky cliffs. These rocks and boulders led directly to the ocean. The tide was out and the boulders were mostly dry so despite my concern and worry we headed down onto them to have a look around. We climbed down the stones towards the water where there were even larger stones to hop and play on. Along the way we saw the remnants of marble steps that had long been destroyed by the waves.
The kids kept close for a little and we took some time to look into the wave pools to examine a dead crab, lots and lots of mussels, sea snails and some small insect/worm/leech/ swimming things that we have yet to determine what they were. Then they went off to explore a little on their own while we enjoyed the calm am beauty of it all. After a while of poking tide pools with sticks and gingerly moving from rock to rock they started hopping and climbing like little goats.
When they started scaling the rocks I was literally left speechless with fear, despite the fact that they were not that far off the ground. At this point I turned to my husband with an “Oh my god are we going to let them do that!!!!” look on my face to which he calmly replied. “They’re fine.” I then turned towards the ocean, took some deep breaths and waited for a thunk and some crying but none came. That is because they really were fine. They were being careful, thoughtful and taking their time, my husband was watching them carefully to make sure they were safe but was not intervening and letting them have their freedom to explore and learn independently.
We spent well over an hour on those rocks and everything was fine. Sure tons of things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. This could have been a very different afternoon had I let my worry over take me and convince me that going on the rocks was not ok. Instead I took a risk and it paid off. We had a wonderful afternoon, the kids were able to exercise their independence and as soon as we figure out what the small insect/worm/leech/ swimming things were we’ve learned a little something new.