Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lessons from Bikini Bottom

Yesterday was a perfect beach day. Hazy, hot and humid everywhere but on the shore. Bright sunshine, barely a cloud in the sky, so off we went. I was up early, packed the cooler and the beach bag, then set about waking up the rest of the house. 
The two big boys, teenagers that they are, summer drunk and drowsy from late nights and days filled with soccer opted out, but the little one and hubby were raring to go.
We arrived at the beach around 10:00, and payed the $20 parking fee. Ouch! $20??  I know I know, seems a little pricey, but where else can you spend $20 for a full day 'o fun?
We unpacked the car, carried chairs, cooler and ourselves to the sand, picked the perfect spot and set up camp.
We chose Wingaersheek in Gloucester. The best little kid beach around. No huge waves, but at low tide you can walk for what seems like miles, there are rocks to climb on, and great tide pools for hunting. It's such a shallow beach that when the tide does come in the water is Carribean warm because of the sand that's been baking in the sun all day.
When we arrived the tide was pretty low, so the three of us started walking to see what we could find.
It wasn't long before I had a handful of sand dollars. We kept walking and Little found a huge shell sticking out of the sand, I picked it up and discovered the most disgusting looking sea slug oozing out from it. 
He named it Gary and I have to say, this disgusting slug looked nothing like his Sponge Bob counterpart. 
I put him back and started walking ahead of the Little One and the Dad, but I could hear their conversation.
The Dad has a little bit of Mike Brady in him. He will take any teachable moment and turn it into a life lesson and somehow, our disgusting, not so little sea slug was just what he needed.
He talked about how even the ugliest of creatures have a place in the world. (Food for seagulls)
Then somehow the conversation turned to Mr. Crabs and Mr. Square Pants himself. 
Little: Mr. Crabs would love these sand dollars, he loves money.
Dad: He is kind of cheap isn't he? He's not very nice to Sponge Bob either.
Little: That's because he makes Sponge Bob work harder so he can make more money at the Crusty Crab.
Dad: Well he still shouldn't treat Sponge Bob like that.
Me: (because I can't mind my own business and I'm a little critical at times...) Sponge Bob is too stupid to know better and quit.
Dad: He's not stupid, he's just young and naive and Mr. Crabs is taking advantage of him.
Little: Yeah mom,  and Sponge Bob loves his job.
Me: (now staying out of this one, sometimes it's better to just listen.)
Little: Hey look, little fish.
Dad: That's krill, it's what whales eat.
Little: You mean like Plankton. He's Mr. Crabs' arch enemy. He's always trying to steal the recipe for Crabby Patties. The Crabby Patties recipe is an old family recipe you know. He and Mr. Crabs were childhood friends, but now they hate each other.
Dad: See what greed will do. It tears people apart.
Little: Well maybe someday they'll work things out and be friends again.
Dad: Let's hope so.

I don't know how much Little got out of this conversation, but I enjoyed it, and do know I'll never look at a sea slug the same way again!

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