We spent the week before school at a sleepy little beach in North Carolina with Rob's family. I love Caswell Beach, because it feels like a throwback in time; unchanged by the waves of modern society. We had a house full of family and six kids! A treasure hunt sounded fun! The map was made from an old piece of fabric, burned around the edges and mapped out once we got there.
A treasure map in an old bottle seemingly washed up on the beach!
I used an old pharmacy bottle and attached the 'map' to a string. Attach the string to a cork by staple or tape, so that the map is easier to pull out of the bottle. You can put real wax on top of the cork, but we used aluminum foil to cover ours.
A band of 'pirates' find the map!
Items to be collected were a bucket, an eye patch, a pink star fish, a pirate flag, a deck of cards, a loggerhead turtle puzzle, and a treasure chest. The map had to be followed to find the items!
The youngest 'pirate' finds the starfish!
Annabelle finds the flag!
The deck of cards is found near the 'deck!' A pink set with pirate skulls wasn't too hard to find!
The loggerhead turtle puzzle was buried near the real loggerhead turtle nest, seen just behind my son. We were thrilled to see the nests! Incorporating the turtles into our treasure hunt helped with learning about these special creatures. The size of a stone when hatched, it is hard to believe these turtles grow to be about 200 pounds with some reaching 1000 pounds!
Clutch size averages around 115 eggs with the average incubation being 55 days. Nesting takes place nocturnally, usually at 2 to 3 year intervals. This 3-D puzzle makes the learning fun. (See our 'deer' 3-D puzzle in the tree house.)
When we arrived at Caswell Beach, my daughter and I started to pray that we would see the little turtles hatch! We were very excited to be able to see the hatchlings! We had missed the journey of the hundred or so turtles make their descent to the ocean the night before, but were able to see the last of the babies the next night, three little guys, crawl their way to the great big ocean! I couldn't take many shots because the flash of the camera would confuse them!
The kids find the spot marked, "X" and dig up the treasure!
The chest was full of small items left over from party favors.
But, you would think real gold and treasures were in that little trunk the way they all grabbed at the goods! My guess is real pirates ended up...
The Brunswick County Jail...
or the Old Smithville Graveyard...
No, our pirates ended up with some cupcakes from the local confectionery.
My baby grins with delight!
We parked behind the school and walked across the bus parking lot. It was almost time for the bell to ring, so I told the children to run ahead. I was, of course, carrying three large bags of wide-ruled paper, copy paper, pens, pencils, markers and crayons; enough for twenty kids, it seemed. The humidity was low, and it was cool for this unusual August morning. August is usually the worst month of the year in South Carolina with its dreadful heat and steam coming off of the pavement as soon as the sun rises. The early morning sun was beaming down on the bus parking lot, just barely above the school house.
I could see my children running with their carapaced armor of backpacks trying to make their little refuge of seats before the bell rang. And in a moment, as they ran toward the sun, they reminded me of the little loggerhead sea turtles racing toward the light of the full moon to the big, big ocean...to a place that could swallow them up in an instant. My eyes fill and almost spill over as I think about those little turtles...my children...going off into the big world to fend for themselves.
Then one of them stops. I see her shoulders drop. I can't see her head because of the bright sun. Unable to run with all the supplies, it takes me several minutes to catch up. She is crying. My baby is crying. She says, "Mama, I don't want to leave you." I know I can't let her see the flood that is about to poor out of my head, so I try to remind her that we live right behind the school...that unlike those little turtles, she can always come home to her safe little nest. I shift all the supplies that now feel like enough for a hundred kids, to one side and take her little hand.
I wonder how the little logger turtles, no bigger than a pebble, make it to the water's edge and past the big waves without their Mama. I wonder how Mama Logger lets them. They are so little. She is so little. I just want to drop those bags of supplies, take her in my arms and run...run away from the huge waves that will engulf her...away from the world that wants to devour her! I know we are probably going to be late, but I don't care.
I walk slowly and remember how just a blink ago, she and I would walk the older children to school and she would turn the corner of the building and say, "Come on, Mommy! Let's go play tea party!" Our most favorite thing to do.
Today, I packed a small little tea cup in her lunch box with her juice. It is the first day of kindergarten. The school has asked that we not join the kids for lunch today, so that they can establish a routine.
I picture Mama Logger swimming just past the break of the waves looking for her babies to hatch and find their way to her...all one hundred of them. I remember the little 'three' that we were blessed to see. I pray they made it through the waves. I pray my three make it through their first day of school. I pray they learn and grow and...
come home to Mama.
Tomorrow, I will pack my little tea cup and join my baby for lunch.
I hope you are all having a better 'First Day' than I am!Pin It Now!