It Only Takes a Moment

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.


  1. Oh wow, I'm crying reading this – how terrifying. Life can really change so fast and is so precious. I'm so sorry you went through that, but so thankful he's okay! ((hugs)))

  2. You just broke my heart reading this. Wow I'm crying right now. I held my heart the whole time! Thank God you have your baby in your arms tonight. Some don't get that chance. I will truly say that guy from nowhere was an angel sent to you during a crisis. I just can't even write here on how happy I am that you and your family are okay. Thank you stranger whoever you're! You said it best momma, "Hug your babies tight tonight moms, dream those dreams for them and whatever you do, don't let go."

  3. Oh my gosh, how scary! I can't even to being to imagine the panic you must have felt.

    I'm so glad that everything is okay and you have all your babies at home with you tonight.

  4. OH WOW as I was reading this my heart was racing. I'm so so glad though that you were able to get to him, I can imagine how scared he was. I did a post on riptides and beach safety and the MAIN thing they say is walking parallel to the shore is how to get out. It seems you have shown this is true. I need to speak to my boys about this so should they ever be in this situation they will know what to do.

    Hugs I'm so glad everyone is ok I can imagine how scary that was for you both.

  5. Oh my gosh!!! I am so glad that you were able to get him back to shore, and that man the helped is an angel!! xoxo

  6. I need to catch my breath. That is the scariest thing a mother can go through – your child just out of reach. I'm so sorry you went through that, but I'm glad he's okay!

  7. I need to wipe the tears from my eyes so I can see to type this. What a horrible experience but I'm so glad he's safe and in his mommy's arms.

  8. So scary. Life jackets are a must in our family in the ocean. So very scary. (((HUGS)))

  9. Connie, I thought the boogie boards were a good idea because they attach to the boys with a strap and enabled them to float. However, it was actually the flotation device that pulled him out further into the water. At least he was still able to float once it pulled him out though.

  10. Oh gosh, that sounded so scary. We were just at the ocean and I can understand how that could happen so easily. I'm so glad everything turned out okay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *