Well, after 31 successful new experiences, I finally found one my children did not enjoy– crabbing. Who would have thought that they would rather pet a tarantula or visit old memorials in Washington, D.C. than go crabbing again?
I was really looking forward to taking my children crabbing. I grew up just a few miles from the ocean and have fond memories of crabbing in the bay with my parents as a child. When we planned a week at the Jersey Shore, I asked my parents to accompany us on a little side trip to introduce the kids to crabbing.
The kids seemed enthusiastic about the idea. Leah expressed some reservations about touching one, but I assured her we would leave all the crab handling to Pop Pop as there was no way I was about to touch one either.
We arrived at a beautiful section of the bay in Sea Isle City and saw a few other people crabbing. The tide was low and crabs were biting. We caught a small crab within 10 minutes of dropping our nets in the water.
As soon as Luke and Leah saw the crab, they ran into the minivan, screaming as if they had just seen a shark swimming in the bay. The crab was only the size of my outstretched hand, hardly a creature to be feared. My dad let him out of the cage, so the kids could watch him walk on the ground.
The kids probably had the right idea to search for higher ground. The little crab was ready for a fight! He held his claws upright and walked toward us, which led to more ear-splitting screams coming from the minivan.
After a short while, Luke emerged and found the courage to lower the nets into the water. He liked pulling the crab nets up but wanted nothing to do with the crabs at all. My dad showed the kids how to handle a crab and avoid being pinched, but no one wanted to try it. He also showed them the difference between male and female crabs. For some reason, the kids found this fascinating, and we had to investigate the bottom of every crab we caught. With some encouragement, Leah lowered a net or two. However, she was not at all interested in crabbing. She decided she would become our group photographer and spent the rest of the hour snapping away.
We didn’t catch any crabs big enough to keep. I thought we caught 7 crabs, my dad counted 8, and my mom insists we caught 9 crabs. Clearly, none of us are skilled mathematicians, but we are good at catching crabs.
Crabbing was not a big hit, but spending time with their grandparents was certainly something my children and I enjoyed. I love all the photographs that Leah took. I know we’ll treasure them for years.
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