Tuesday, July 3, 2012


It’s late afternoon at an ocean campground back bay in Connecticut and my three boys are bouncing with excitement to catch crabs. Armed with two borrowed fishing poles and hunks of chicken parts, we approach the brackish bay. The water is rising and is rushing towards us, dark, murky and sometimes oily on the surface. If I were a crab I would not live in these waters, but apparently many are not so choosy, as a couple across the bridge haul one, then two at a time, out of the water and onto to muddy shore, prying them off their net and fish carcass with a stick. My boys holler with excitement at their catch and the couple nod with contained appreciation. Oh, how we lose our passion as adults….what if we hooted and hollered too? What if we expressed our delight and joy, not with wide smiles and steady nods, but free jiggles and hollers and giggles? Some would want to lock us up, that’s what.

It is jiggle and wiggle time for my boys and they don’t care who knows. The lines get cast with relish, and little pulls delight at first, until they figure out it’s irksome tiny fish that cannot be caught in our net. Then brows furrow and they become the enemy. Soon, both have heavy pulls on their poles and crabs are suspected to be taking a ride and nibbling on the chicken wings that are being ever so slowy reeled into direction of the current. They must not suspect the bait is alive, so one must reel in mighty slow. They only eat dead things, and the stinkier the better…and I eat these crabs with relish, these rotten carcass bottom feeders…echh.

Regardless of their gruesome habits and murky dwelling, they are our prey and we hunt. I swoop and scoop with manly aggression and help my boys catch two good sized blue clacking crabs. Whoop! Whoop!
Regardless of whether I am a Mom or "girl" and I would rather be having my heels pumiced with cucumbers on my eyes and hands massaged in to blissdom…I am here and I and gutting the fish that are up next for bait. Because if Daddy is not available then I get to be the Mom and the Dad.And it's awesome.

I used to resist being the Mom and yet embrace it as the ultimate excuse for everything. I would get stressed and snippy at the mere suggestion of adding one more thing to my day. No way, I had enough going on! You were Craaaaazaaay if you invited me to do something that required a late night or early morning. I might even get upset and offended by your request, as if you were supposed to mind-read my level of overhwhelm. Even more offensive if it was near my kids naptime. Take three boys on a cross country flight to be with family as the sole parent and CAMP with them alone??? Bonkers. A tight lipped shake of the head with no eye contact is what you would get.

Yet, now I am doing it. Because I am crazy like that about adventure. And I am crazy about my boys. I realized I am also way more interested in making choices based on what I am committed to: adventure, courage, creativity and contribution, than I am my reasons like “it’s too hard” or “too much” or “it’s just not my thing” or “I don't know how”. I am more interested in my commitments, not because it looks good to accomplish crazy ass things that impress, (although they might) but because they MATTER to me.

Creating crabbing adventures, cooking them over the smoldering campfire, breathing in the sultry smoke and salty steam, eating the crabs to the glow of the citronella candle and peeps of the frogs and crickets…creating these unforgettable moments when the boys taste the crab for the first time, that THEY caught, and smile and rub their bellies with enthusiastic fervor, these moments are beyond any reason. They are created from nothing except a love of adventure and joy of self expression.
Whoop whoop! Here's to summer adventures!

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