It only takes a moment, a small insignificant speck of time, but that moment is all it takes to see your dreams drift away.
This past Saturday we were at Panama City Beach. It is only about two hours from us, so we drove out there for a three night mini vacation before school starts again. All the boys know how to swim, some better than others. We still put a life vest on Jase just to be safe because he is not a strong swimmer at all.
The weather had not been great and the water was rough. The boys wanted to use their new boogie boards, so I made the them stay only a few feet from the shore where the last waves broke before hitting the sand. The older boys were enjoying laying in the shallows and being pushed by the waves onto the sand. All was well until….
A moment, one moment is all it took for me to look up and see Joshua my oldest about four feet further out than the rest. He had snuck out further because he was “the oldest.” The water was only up to his knees, but he was floating on a board and I was too worried, so I told him to come back to shore now. Then another moment, a moment in which I saw panic in my baby’s eyes and heard him say “Mommy I can’t!” My 12 year old said “mommy” and his pleading voice was all I needed to know something was horribly wrong.
I dropped the camera in the bag, called his brothers out of the water and screamed at them to stay on shore with their youngest brother. Another moment, and then I was out to Joshua in a dip off the sandbar where it was hard for even me to stand. The tide had taken him and I was in a battle against the waves to get him back.
My hand latched around his arm and I just kept saying his name. “Joshua, Joshua, Joshua.” As if somehow my pleading would make the tide let go. I planted my feet firmly in the sand and tried to move, but I was getting nowhere. A moment is all it took for me to see my dreams for my sweet baby boy drift by. What if I couldn’t get him out? What if I hadn’t run to him fast enough? What if?
Then out of nowhere came a man from the beach. He grabbed Joshua’s other arm and we started walking parallel to the shore. Finally, another moment and there was relief. I just kept chanting “We are okay. Everything is okay.” And it was.
Safe from the waves, we all stayed seated at the shoreline for the rest of the day. Gone were the boogie boards and gone was the freedom to go anywhere in the water. Because, it only takes a moment, a single split second in time to lose those we love the most. Hug your babies tight tonight moms, dream those dreams for them and whatever you do, don’t let go.