The mother stepped out of the parked car unconsciously going through a checklist in her head. She unbuckled her daughter from her car seat as she simultaneously put the “Be a Good Mommy” checklist into action. They held hands as they walked through the parking lot. The mother watched for cars while the child trusted her mom unaware of the possible dangers. They entered the sandy beach area. The mother unwillingly loosened the grip of her daughter’s hand and released her to adventure. As the confident daughter shuffled through the sand, the mother scanned a few steps ahead of her daughter. The mother was ready to pounce at any danger that may lay ahead. The daughter neared the edge of the sea. The mother’s heart stopped. The daughter looked back with grin and the mother’s heart began to beat again. A tantrum occurred. No doubt due to the mother pulling her daughter a few feet away from the water. The tantrum withered and the adventure continued. They collected shells, watched the sun set, rinsed their feet in the warm ocean and eventually headed home. On the way home, the mother began to playback their beach excursion questioning every move she made. Did she keep her daughter safe whilst having fun? Her thoughts took off like a rabbit being chased by a dog. Eventually her thoughts slowed in pace and landed on the subject of influence. How is she influencing her daughter? Is she making a good impact? Or is it so bad that her daughter will need therapy later? The thoughts continued to drag on until she remembered that little Popeye grin peering at her alongside the salty water. She herself grinned and took a pause from her thoughts to mentally photograph the moment. The mother realized that in these precious younger years, the child is the one who is doing the influencing. Her daughter is a sweet reminder to live life to fullest without “Be the best!” pressures. To eat ice cream out of the carton and jump in a pool with your clothes still on. Her daughter’s time will come when she looks back on childhood memories and be strongly influenced by her mother’s love. For now, they’ll jump on the bed and color abstract pictures not caring about the ticking clock in the other room. The mother will also attempt to not worry. A promise she’ll never be able to keep.