Every year during our summer vacation, the boys create a terrarium full of beach and ocean wildlife. It’s probably not legal. It’s probably not the healthiest, most fun environment for the crabs, but we let them do it because it teaches them responsibility and nurturing (oddly).
It teaches them love and to let go.
They start out with their nets, almost the second we arrive. As soon as they catch their first sand crab they bring it up with a bucket of sand, adding leaves and flowers, coconut shreds, shells and fruit along the way. They usually release the crabs within 12 hours and find new ones to take their places.
But this year quite by accident, they added conch to their collection.
This year, while we were snorkeling, they learned to hold their breath long enough and dive down deep enough to grab a conch shell from the bottom of the ocean floor. The rule is, if the conch has it’s animal still inside, we have to let it be. But, then there are those times when we’re all sure there is no animal, only to get it back and realize it is inhabited. So we quickly get sand and ocean water to create an underwater home to “make sure they are alright” . . . for a day or so.
Then we have to release them.
We usually take them down to the water, swim them out deep, and drop them down to their sandy home slowly. But on our last night, just before bed, we realized we still had these guys who needed to be returned, and mama was not interested in sending the boys out for another swim. So they had to give ’em their best throw from the shore. Through a few tears, they had to release them, not knowing for sure they would be safe. They were only trusting it was best.
I’m feeling that way today.
They’ll be waking up in a couple of minutes and coming downstairs in their not-so-little school clothes. We will cuddle for a minute and pray. Then we’ll make breakfast, pack backpacks, and hopefully laugh and dance just a little, before I have to give them my best hug and take them down to the school. Through a few secret tears (and maybe a fist pump or two), I will release them, not knowing for sure they will be safe.
I’m trusting it is what’s best.
Often life requires us to release the things, or people, we cling to most tightly to make room for both of us to discover our strengths and grow. Sometimes it hurts a lot more than other times. Sometimes there’s a mix of joy and sorrow.
Always, it is worth it.
Release them, sister. It’s time to grow.
to more love,