I lied to my daughter.

She asked me, while we were standing on the shoreline of the ocean, “What if I get stung by a Man o’ War?” To which I quickly replied, “You won’t”.

I wanted her to be brave. I didn’t want her to be afraid or scared of the ocean like I am. I wanted to protect her from the bad things that can happen, the things that sting and hurt. But that’s a lie. Because she could get stung. That’s the truth. She could walk into the ocean and get stung by the thing she feared. 

In my response, I caught myself and I said. “No, you know what, that’s a lie. I’m sorry. You could get stung, honey. It could happen. It will hurt but you will be okay.” She seemed to process it and today, she went swimming in the ocean, without any reservations.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own fears and our own reservations. I can get so caught up in my own anxieties and fears, but those are on me, not on my children. The ocean is a large and beautiful thing. Some of it should be rightfully feared. But there is so much beauty in it too. If only we are able to separate ourselves a bit and step into the water.

Ashlee Kuhtic

Ashlee Kuhtic

Ashlee Kuhtic is the granddaughter of Wisdom of the Wounded’s Karen Mulder. Ashlee and her husband live in Grand Rapids, Michigan with their two children.

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