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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sometimes, it's not about catching fish.

I love fishing. Wait, that's not true, I love catching fish. Sitting there watching fish swim by snubbing their nose at you sucks. Going fishing with kids, sucks too. Tying knots, trying to get hooks and line out of bushes, the endless "can we go now" just kills me. Kids talk loud, which spook fish, kids are constantly moving about, which spook fish, and kids are always impatient, which spook dads from taking them fishing.

However, I can not think of another tool to teach so many of life's needed skills than a grueling day out fishing. Actually, anytime a parent can see past the "event" and peer into their secret tool bag of life experience, an opportunity to empower their child is realized. For me, my children have taught me to look past myself and see their hidden potential in these moments. I have learned to create an environment where questions can flow and life is learned. I have learned to go fishing for teachable moments instead of fish.

What amazes me is how much my children try to emulate me. They get upset because they can't do something as good, yet, and then the teaching begins. "I started just like you", I tell them. I have snagged more trees and lost more hooks than you can imagine, they look at me and smile. We play pong with questions. Back and forth, what, how, when, where, why. What do you think about.......... I am always amazed at the questions they come up with. Their memory astounds me. My youngest will come up with some whoppers. "So dad, how will global warming effect the fish population in this pool?" I look at her and think, where the hell did that come from? Sometimes I have to fight that urge to say, "just be quiet and fish." My oldest took a picture, unknown to me, of one of those moments when my youngest and I where discussing the mysteries of life. Her biggest puzzle at the moment is how do fathers know everything about life. I just look at her and say, " I don't know, it's just a fact of life, accept it" then I give her a big grin.

Out of all the fish I have caught in my life, no fish has brought so much joy to me, as the fish my kids have caught with me. Their face, their ear to ear grins, the bump in confidence, it all heals my heart and seems to set everything right in the universe for me.


Peajay said...

Make a memory with your children,
Spend some time to show you care;
Toys and trinkets can't replace those
Precious moments that you share.

Money doesn't buy real pleasure,
It doesn't matter where you live;
Children need your own attention,
Something only you can give.

Childhood's days pass all too quickly,
Happy memories all too few;
Plan to do that special something,
Take the time to go or do.

Make a memory with your children,
Take the time in busy days;
Have some fun while they are growing,
Show your love in gentle ways.

Elaine Hardt

I came across this poem some time ago and thought how appropriate it was. You're out there doing just that TB.

Talking Bear said...

Thank you for that PJ. I loved the poem too. I try to do what I can, however being away so much has made it harder, but more enjoyable to just sit with my little ones.

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