In an effort to pressure me into giving her grandchildren (being single doesn’t matter; Jeanie Carroll thinks I can pull a Bristol Palin), my mother kidnapped my 8-year-old cousin last week and officially made him her own. This is a woman who usually calls me if I don’t check in every three hours, but did I hear from her at all? Not once. And when I finally did call her to see if there was room for me out at the beach house this weekend, what was her response? “I don’t know. Brett and I have to go to a seal release on Saturday.” I couldn’t even get her to play one round of Chutes and Ladders with me when I was little.
So I headed down to Long Island on Friday to reclaim my mother, and if going to a seal release is what it took, I was going to do it gosh darn it. After bagels and coffee Saturday morning, we headed to the Shinnecock Coast Guard Station in Hampton Bays to see Foxtrot – a female, gray seal pup – be released back into the wild by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. And I have to say, it was pretty cool.
A huge crowd gathered on the beach to await Foxtrot’s arrival. And when she was finally released from her crate and hit the bay water, we all cheered her on. Apparently seals are loners, and they like to be off by themselves in the water. But it didn’t seem that way as Foxtrot kept looking back at us on the beach as she swam off into the bay, and eventually through the inlet and into the ocean. I think Jeanie shed a tear.
If the Riverhead Foundation’s goal on Saturday was to gain some fans as well as patrons, it worked. Jeanie is now adopting a seal. And possibly a sea turtle. I hope you enjoy it, Mom. That’s as close as you’re going to get to grandchildren for a while.
To learn more about the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, visit www.riverheadfoundation.org.