I like fishing. Mainly because it was one of the only activities my dad did with my sister and me, before he went to work on the afternoon shift. It was nice being with my dad. The funny thing is, when I think back to fishing with my dad with my adult brain, all I remember are tangled lines, an annoyed father and swear words.
It must have been so frustrating to take two wiggly, talkative girls out in a row boat in the middle of a lake and manage two poles, worms (of course we wouldn't touch those slimy things) and hooks. My poor father.
Even as a child, I always wished I would have been born a boy for my dad's sake. I was the last of four daughters for him. By the time I came around he was 35. He experienced all the tea parties, pretty bows and dolls he could handle. He was a guy's guy. He liked fishing, hunting and boating. So, I remember always feeling a little sorry for him that he had to deal with so many girls. I always kind of thought fishing with boys would have been much more enjoyable for him.
Well, today I took my boys fishing and let me tell you, I was wrong. These two little boys were just as wiggly and clueless and frustrating as they would have been had they been born girls.
They wiggled. They talked. They didn’t listen to my instructions. I, like all parents, just wanted them to feel the exhilaration of that line being tugged at the end of the pole. The addictive feeling of flinging a giant fish out of the water! So, my mind was fixated on that goal. They had other plans.
They just wanted to make contact with a fish, with no though of catching or flinging. Instead of casting, they put pieces of hotdogs on their hooks and dipped their lines into the water right in front of them. They loved watching their poles bobbing as the fish ate their bait. Just when I was felt my blood pressure risingbecause they weren't following my instruction of casting as far into the lake as they could, I stopped myself and looked over at my two guys smiling. Then laughing.
So, I stopped. I stopped wanting. I stopped wishing. I stopped projecting. Do you know, those boys dipped their poles into the water in front of them with one-inch pieces of hotdogs offered to three-inch fish for two more hours!
When we left, my philosophical Zeke said, "Well, we didn't catch anything but we sure had a good day!"
Mission accomplished. For us all.