For the past two years Captain P. has raided our beach house and left behind a treasure map for the kids.
What started as a fun idea, grew into a tradition, and now it's a full on production of planning and secrecy.
The arrival of Captain P. has us all excited whether we're the ones burying and hiding, or the ones finding the letter left outside just for them.
Little boy shrieks were heard round the world when they realized the most anticipated (read year long anticipation), day had finally come.
The infamous day started with the discovery of a letter left by Captain P. along with compasses for each boy to use in treasure hunting.
The boys were in full on pirate mode and we couldn't move fast enough for them as they followed the letter's instructions to head to the water's edge.
Along the way they found a cache of swords Captain P. left for them before spying the bottle in the surf.
I honestly didn't know my boys could move so fast, but they were not going to let that bottle get away.
That didn't prove to be the hard part. Once the map was finally pulled out it took one aunt, two uncles, a Poppa, and three boys, two of which can't read, to decipher the next steps.
The boys were so wrapped up in the map's directions they didn't care what it said as they were willing to do it all to find the treasure.
The map lead them up over dunes, around fences, crab walking across the beach, and counting paces before they finally spied the "X" on the sand.
The phenomenal speed they possessed to get to the bottle also seemed to come forefront in their digging.
How in the world can I not harness this speed for, oh I don't know, chores, school work? I guess if I buried their "to do list" it would help? I digress.
They finally uncovered the chest with the help of Matt and their uncles, but when it came to lugging their bounty back to the beach house, this was a quest they wanted to accomplish.
Once the caravan made it back to the house we all ran in as Captain P.'s treasure chest was opened and more shrieking and laughing had us all sucked into the moment.
I don't know how long my huge imagination, pirate believing, treasure hunting boys will look for Captain P. year after year before they realize it's the mastermind of aunts and uncles who love them dearly, but I hope it takes a long time.
I hope when their age finally shows them the truth they will realize how incredibly loved they are by family willing to stay up late, build, design, create, and bury year after year.
I know one day they'll make some great Pirate P. "helpers" to younger siblings and cousins as they grow old enough to join in the treasure hunting.
Because they are all growing fast! And with LilyMae's pink monkey as her piece of the pirate treasure, even she's already taken with Captain P. and the wonderful memories he makes year after year.