mama scout lab e-course

Thursday, June 28, 2012

send a message in a bottle (even if it does not go far)

from the archives

For much of the year, we love to head to the beach late in the afternoon for play and supper, returning home in salty pajamas to stumble to bed, our bodies still moving to the rhythm of the sea. Sending messages in bottles has been a recent exploration for my kids. On this particular day, they were unable to convince their bottles to take to the sea. The bottles kept rolling back in, only to be thrown out again and again. Eventually, my diligent merkids forgot and became interested in the huge fish swimming under them.

About this time, our immediate neighbor started shouting. (They were a young couple, VERY much in love). "Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! A message in a bottle!!!" yelled the bikini-ed woman to her tattooed, smoking beau. They started running out of the water to their blanket, oblivious to the fact that we were the ones to send it out. Their excitement was palpable.

I was unnerved. Should we tell them? They might just get embarrassed or angry. Or should we just look the other way? Now, a small crowd was forming. They were all trying to get the message out - using sticks and smacking the end of the bottle. Suddenly, the woman started high stepping like a gazelle to the water. "Another one! Another one!" she screamed. Oh man, they found our other one. Surely, they are now going to figure it out. 

But no, they did not figure out. They were too engrossed in their own adventure to realize there was anyone else on the beach.  They finally retrieved the messages, read them, smiled and started making out again. Bikini woman looked out dreamily at the sea and said, "baby.... we should send out a message about us...." Then, more making out.

The initial disappointment of the bottles' truncated voyage was overshadowed by the pure gift of witnessing someone else find it (and so thoroughly enjoy finding it). Like flies on the wall, hearing others discuss our creation, we knew that our original intent of sending happiness into the world was met. Albeit, in a much different way than we anticipated - which made it happy and charming for us too.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Found you via your comment over at Wee Wonderfuls. I just had to click on your name because I used to use the handle "mamscout" all over the internet. I also used to publish a zine called "Scout" back in the days when people still wrote zines instead of blogs. Anyway. I enjoyed my visit here, and this story in particular. We live in Florida, too, and I don't know why it never occurred to me to make a message in a bottle with my kids before. Enjoy your NYC trip. We took our kids there last summer and it was loads of exhausting fun.


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