To the Parents of the Toddler in the Alligator Attack at Disney: My Toddler Played There, Too

I was there once, too. I let my daughter stand in the water, be near the water. So have thousands of parents before you.

I wasn’t going to write anything.

Your pain is unfathomable and I have no words of comfort or care that can heal it right now.

I am so sorry.

I am so sorry.

I am so sorry.

I have stayed at the Grand Floridian at Disney World before when my youngest was two years old. We had traveled there from the Midwest. I remember the pools at the hotel distinctly, as we relaxed and swam in them on our vacation. I do not remember visiting the beach, although I knew where it was.The Pool at Grand Floridian at Disney World

This morning I looked through my pictures of our visit and gasped. I guess after our time at the pool we did visit the beach and we played in the sand. It is steps away from the pool area after all. One picture captures my young children building sand castles on the beach in their swimsuits.Building sand castles at the beach at The Grand Floridian at Disney World

Another picture in particular makes me cry now. I see my toddler, her chubby feet in the lagoon, throwing sand in the water.The beach at Disney World Grand FloridianHer hair is wet and I remind myself it is not because we swam in the lagoon. No one does that, there are signs. Her hair is wet because moments before, and steps away, we were in the pool.

But to see her little feet in the water’s edge of the lagoon? To see her throwing sand that would make a splash?

I had sensed no danger.

I had sensed nothing out of the ordinary.

The fact that my husband or I took that picture of her throwing sand into the lagoon signals to me that we thought it was cute. Sweet. Innocent.

In my gut, I know this is everything you were thinking on that beach.

I apologize with my whole being for those who say they would never let their child near that water, that somehow they would know better.

I was there once, too. I let my daughter stand in the water, be near the water. So have thousands of parents before you.

My heart is breaking for you.

I am so sorry.

I am so sorry.

I am so sorry.

***

This post originally appeared at Experienced Bad Mom.

Katy Clark
Katy M. Clark is the author of the humor blog The Experienced Bad Mom. Katy was first called an “Experienced” bad mom after realizing that everything she’d done wrong with her first child, she was doing wrong with her second child as well! She embraces her imperfections as a mother, shares them with a light-hearted touch on her blog, and invites her readers to laugh with her. You can find more of Katy at her Facebook page or on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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