Catch and Release

Kids catching lobsters washed up on the beach gave me a good reminder about abundance of gratitude.

On the second morning of our recent visit to T’s grandparents’ cottage, we went for a walk by the beach, an activity T enjoyed several times a day.

We stumbled upon three boys carrying buckets and excitedly catching lobsters!

In the 19 years I had visited the cottage, this was the first time the hubby and I had seen such a thing – and we guessed it was a combination of the high winds the previous day and low tide.

I thought this is what childhood summers are all about. It felt joyful and T (pictured below on the left) excitedly inserted himself into the play.

The hubby and I got into it too, although he went into the water and I stayed close to shore. 😆

The kids made it look so easy, as we didn’t have any luck finding a single lobster.

But we did encounter our inner child.

The kids caught five lobsters – tiny, a pound each, but nonetheless exciting – and their parents asked them to release them back in the water.

This moment made me think about how fleeting life is – the good, like joy and success, and the bad, like stress and anxiety.

Very few things are truly permanent nor ours to keep – regardless of how much we want to hang onto the moment and bottle it up forever.

It’s a reminder to weather the rushing rivers that always lead to calm waters.

And to be present for the good stuff. To enjoy the experience then let it go – and have faith there are more good times ahead.

Speaking of fleeting, T ran back to the cottage to pee and that was the end of lobsters for him.

And of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but I would get very sick the following morning.

But before all that, and later that night, T and I had fun spontaneously digging up a few dozen quahogs at low tide sunset.

I do so wish I could bottle up this moment forever – but it was what it was and I look for these moments throughout each day.

They are often small – like our bike rides after dinner, T reading with me, swimming at the outdoor pool, or this rainy morning when T got up early and gave me a warm good morning hug.

This past Sunday, I got quite cranky in the car, because we were late for a family lunch – avoidable, but some people *ackem* have issues with getting ready on time.

Trying to diffuse the snark between the hubby and I, T spoke up and told me, “Think of the happy stuff and ignore the bad stuff.”

This, coming from a kid who often gets escalated, cranky and angry, was quite rich.

But I did smile, calm down and hung onto that unexpected feeling of joy and pride.

Then I let it go.

Yummy family lunch at Vietnamese restaurant to celebrate cousin’s birthday.

26 thoughts on “Catch and Release

  1. That is such a wonderful vacation every year, not counting being sick. Even though T is a kid who often gets escalated, cranky and angry he has understood what you have taught him and is applying it to his family life. That’s a very rewarding comment he made, pat yourself on the back!

    1. Thanks Diane. T really pushes my buttons on a daily basis but when he has these moments of calm and wisdom, it really does feel rewarding indeed! 😊🙏

  2. “Think of the happy stuff and ignore the bad stuff.” That is really a powerful thought, one that I always try to do whenever I tend to sweat the small stuff. Of course there were moments when I fell short of doing it. But when things have escalated too far, I try to repeat that mantra in my head.

    Catching lobsters sounds like a really fun thing to do, especially for kids. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood came from the experience of looking for animals.

    1. Thanks Bama. It’s incredible to think how much we allow small things to take up so much real estate in our mind. It’s a skill and a discipline for sure to focus on the things that truly matter.

      I bet you have many great memories from your childhood and animals too!

  3. Sounds like you had a memorable day at the beach trying to catch lobsters. Life goes by so quickly, that you’re right to appreciate the good moments when they happen and try to make the most of them. That T is hilarious. He comes up with the best lines sometimes, but he clearly learns from the best! Have a wonderful weekend. We’re heading to the airport in a couple of hours.

    1. Thanks Linda. Life sure does fly by very quickly and often have new chapters, such as yours. 😊 Yes, T does have the best lines – for better or for worse.

      Have an AMAZING trip. Please be safe and I can’t wait to see your recap. Take care.

      1. Thanks!! We’re off to a wonderful start to our vacation. Our seats were upgraded on our flight and we ended up at the front of the plane with all this extra leg room. And we got priority boarding, but more importantly, a free meal and extra snacks on the plane.

        We’re at the official start of the Alaska Highway and have a bunch of driving today, but it’s less smoky here compared to Edmonton, and the weather is supposed to be nice.

        Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  4. Love the advice from T. I wonder where he got that from.

    And your catch and release metaphor is so good! Today I was walking up some stairs with D’s hand in mine. I got a quick shiver thinking that we wouldn’t do that forever. But I can apply the catch and release metaphor to enjoy it and then trust there will be something else to enjoy later. You can’t catch something new if you haven’t released what you are holding onto, right?

    I’m laughing about your hubby being slow to get ready. Ahh, the little things life challenges us to be equanimous about! 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks Wynne. I do so love and appreciate how you built on what I was trying to convey and said it so beautifully – “You can’t catch something new if you haven’t released what you are holding onto, right?”

      It is so true. And we do feel blessed to have that abundance where we need to release something to create space for something new. What a blessed life indeed. 🙏💕

      And you’ll have many more of those moments holding Mr D’s hands to come!

    1. Thanks Margie. I do love to think that the moment was bottled up as a memory. 😊 Hope you’re enjoying your time with your grandchild. I can’t believe school is around the corner again!

  5. Ab- I was having memories of summers hunting tadpoles at our lake property, always best found in the murkiest, greenest, slimiest water. So much fun to scoop up a bucket of slime and watch those almost frogs swimming around! I was always instructed to partake in the catch and release as well, although I think a small jar or two might have made it home with me a few times 😉

    1. Thanks Deb. I can see how tadpole catching and frog catching was fun. I wish I could take T to do the same – and yes, perhaps take home a jar or two. Shhh. 😆

  6. “I look for these moments throughout each day.” I think this is the secret to a meaningful life. There is so much beauty and love in the world. While there are just as many unsightly and cruel bits, there is so much to be grateful for. T must have have so much fun helping find the lobsters, and I love how you tied it back to “catching and releasing” those small and touching moments.

    1. Thanks Erin! There really is so much beauty and love – visible and invisible – and it’s what makes getting up each to be this little guy’s parent such a worthwhile adventure.

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