This weekend, Storm Ciara hit the UK — our worst storm for some years. I wanted the girls to experience it, and get a chance to learn respect the power nature has within it, but without putting them at risk. And this was too good an opportunity to miss — if I could get the timing right.
I checked the forecast, looked for when the storm was due to peak, and then hit the beach for a brief walk a couple of hours before that. If we'd gone too early, the weather would have been unimpressive. If we'd gone too late, there would be an actual risk to their life. I was pretty sure I'd judged it correctly though.
This is a short video of how it went:
As you can see, they didn't last very long on the beach. They retreated to the pavement, and asked me to go and get some footage of the sea, so they could see it later. And I was caught on the hop by just how fierce the wind was as soon as I hit the top of the shingle. I'm not saying that we could have flown my youngest like a kite, but it certainly crossed my mind…
Sisters versus the sea
I'm proud of them, though. A year ago Iris would barely go near the sea if it was rough in any way at all. Now? Well, she's a lot braver…
Of course, we went nowhere near that close this time out. The winds were approaching the point where the shingle itself could be dangerous, so a four year old wasn't going anywhere near the sea. (The lead photo is from last month, on an altogether safer day…)
It's a difficult line to walk: I want them to respect the power of nature, to be cautious, but not to be scared. They got it right this time. They enjoyed — were exhilarated by, in fact — the wind and storm, but knew it was too much for them.
Another step in the right direction.