Probably I’m Just Paranoid, and My Children Won’t Drown

Being unbelievably lucky, and having generous in-laws (or…laws, if you’re Jon or the girls?), we’re going to Hawaii this summer. (I know!) Although, everyone else is being much, MUCH slower about planning this trip than I would like (we need to book some stuff, people, we’re going during peak-tourist season and dammit, if I don’t get to go snorkeling off a boat instead of off the coast, I’m gonna be pissed!*), I’m generally very excited about this really once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Two things, I am not very excited about:

  1. The plane ride out there. (On the way back, we’re breaking it up with a couple days in San Fran, but on the way there…we’re flying from Denver to Maui, with two children who complain about the 2.5-3.5 hour rides to visit their respective grandparents, so.)
  2. I’m not so secretly convinced my kids might drown.

Obviously not reeeeeaaaalllly really, or we wouldn’t be going, but enough that it occasionally keeps me up at night. At some point recently, I had some time on my hands, and I decided to flarge about the internet in a general Hawaiian type way (meaning that I was doing some research on possible side trips, what to pack, etc., not that I was doing the usual interweb-flarging while sipping a mai tai and wearing a grass skirt, although that could have been fun, too), and I found this TripAdvisor forum listing things locals wish newbies knew about Maui. Big on this list? How easy it is to DROWN there.

Oh, yes. Apparently Hawaii has a higher incidence of tourist-drownings than any other state, 13 times the national average, and most of it can put down to incompetence on the part of visitors. Guess how many oceans Kansas has…

Now, clearly the examples that accompanied the articles I read (yes, more than one because I am an idiot) were meant to make readers more vigilant, and a lot of them involved people being in places they were explicitly told (by signage or otherwise) not to be, but there were stories of children and entire families playing in the ocean near the beach, being caught in riptides and pulled out to sea. This makes me feel like my vacation dream of sitting under an umbrella, reading all the books while drinking drinks that come with their own umbrellas** is not going to work as I will clearly be watching my children LIKE A HAWK, and also probably squawking at them like a hawk if they get in past their ankles. At this point, I’ve now ruined everyone’s vacation.

Before you say I’m just paranoid, I know. I do. As I was telling my friend Julie (Hi, Jules!) at lunch the other day, there’s a reason my kids haven’t been ice-skating yet, and it is this: Whenever I picture them skating, I picture them falling down a lot, which they would, and then I picture someone else skating right over their tiny little fingers, chopping them off and rendering my children unable to write, type or play video games for the rest of their LIVES. Would this happen? No. Do lots of people take their children ice-skating? Yes. Have I ever heard of this happening to anyone else’s child, or it possible this is a completely ridiculous scenario I made up in my head? No and yes. I tell you this truth only to illustrate that I am insane. They’re going to be fine, and I’m going to be fine, and we’ll all have a fabulous and safe time.

*Whispers* Because I will be watching them like a hawk, the entire time.

Both of my children, playing in the ocean just this past summer, where obviously they…did not drown. But that was the Atlantic. I’ve seen Moana — the Pacific is sneakier.


*File this under “Alaina is a whiny, entitled, elitist piece of garbage.”

**And also looking up frequently to check on them. Come on.