I love the beach. There are specific VIPs in our life who do not love the heat (my parents) or we would just move there tomorrow. So this year, Cole and I were able to go not once, but twice to the ocean, which made my soul so very happy. I believe in vacationing for cash, so I book early and pay it out all year, instead of paying an interest rate (you should check into that, fellow budget masters), so this trip was the one where we saved all year for the “extras”, like fun meals and excursions, like a dolphin cruise (Cole was not a fan, not enough action for him) and snorkeling with sting rays and sharks. If your kiddo is an animal lover like Cole, we highly recommend that activity at the Gulfarium. It was the highlight of the trip for him, and he will talk non-stop about those stingrays, if you will listen to him. He listened to everything the marine biologist said (some things I didn’t catch because I was talking to the baby stingrays in the nursery, true story) and I think he is determined to be a veterinarian or marine biologist now.
During our visit, we got to see our Aunt Marsha and Uncle John, who are residents of Florida. My mama rarely gets to see her sister, because of the distance, although they talk almost daily. So, a visit is always in order when we take our beach trips. The sound of my mama and her sister laughing in the kitchen is music to my ears, and brings back so many happy memories from my childhood (their squabbling brings back some memories too, but I digress). Uncle John took us on a little trip to Fort Pickens, another favorite place in Florida if you have never been, and caught a hermit crab and gave it to Cole. My little animal lover fell in love with Hermie, and wanted to keep him. So that evening, we laid in bed and looked up the proper care and handling of salt water hermit crabs. Eek. Very extensive if we actually wanted to keep him alive (which makes me cringe thinking of all of those tourist places who give away a free hermit crab with the purchase of a beach towel. My mother wanted to get all of them and free them, true story), and it seemed like he would be the most happy back in his natural habitat. So we planned to release him the next day.
One of the best things about our rental this year was a private little section of beach, so it was never that populated. We loaded up Hermie and our camera and headed out to release him. The water was clear and calm, and we were the only ones in the water at “our” beach, perfect for Cole to say his goodbyes. When we released him he scuttled away, we think probably very happy to get back home to his mama, who I am sure told him to avoid the area where we caught him. I had kind of a moment floating in that gorgeous water, watching my mini me release that little guy, thinking about the power of letting go, when you so desperately would love to hang on (Cole was desperate to hang on, he wants to keep all of the animals, all of the time), things that are not the most healthy for us, not the most healthy for our families, and certainly not serving us well at all. In counseling single mamas, I encourage them to evaluate all of the relationships in their lives, in that all relationships are either adding to your life, or taking away from it. Sometimes, although we want to hang on, you have to adjust accordingly. Letting go of bitterness is freeing!! And hanging on to that bitterness towards other people is really not helping you, or hurting that other person.
So, we hope that Hermie, and you all, will have a happy full life. Cole is personally hoping that Hermie is not currently in the belly of a pelican or seagull, who also seemed very interested in what we were doing with our newfound little friend.