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Jun 5, 2012
05:00 PM

Exploring Creatures and Nature in The Thumb

A mom teaches her twin kids summer lessons in caring for Mother Earth – by creating a temporary little fish habitat on the lakeshore

Exploring Creatures and Nature in The Thumb

Up North for adventures on the tip of The Thumb, the extended family gathered for good times and good laughs. Our then-4-year-old twin son and daughter were fascinated with all things nature – and all things wiggly and shiny. I suddenly and emphatically became utterly determined to help them observe as many minnows and baby perch as possible.

However, as a creature lover trying to teach my kids how to be stewards of the Earth, I first convinced the kids to help me put up a sand umbrella for shade and create a suitable temporary habitat – complete with layers of sand and rock and floating sticks for those fish caught. I figured we owed it to them, as they were in store for tiny fingers holding them and big curious eyes staring at them.

The kids and I, with their Grammy's help, made a secret dough paste handed down for generations. The minnows could not resist it as I scattered it in a semi-circle to lure them in. Then, with butterfly net in tow, with the kids rooting me on, "Go Mommy, go… there's one!"

I scooped through the waters, flailing wildly, nearly twisting both ankles on the uneven, rocky bottom. The adults onshore laughed hysterically – but the proud, grateful, happy look from my two sandy, sun-kissed children made this a sweet, simple summer memory this heart will hold for a long, long time.

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