Wednesday, June 18, 2014

His First Catch

"Everyone should believe in something.  I believe I'll go fishing."

My boy, Thoreau

For three years now, I've written the word "fishing" on our summer bucket list but have yet to cross it off.  Last year, I even got so far as to buy Cruz a Mickey Mouse fishing pole, very similar to the one my first love, Dana, gave me for my birthday in first grade.  Mom used to baby-sit him and we were inseparable for the better part of my childhood.  We used to sit on the front steps, poles in hand, and cast into the front yard, all the while talking about our dreams of living in that big house in Shell Rock right on the river with that perfect balcony for fishing until we were old and gray.  Dana and I may have broke up in the fifth grade, but that sweet boy with wispy blond hair instilled in me a love of the great outdoors even then.  There's something peaceful and romantic about sitting side by side by water, fishing and picnicking and talking about dreams.  I want my own sweet boy with wispy blond hair to know this life and build memories by the water. 

Sunday was the perfect day to fish.  We purchased our fishing licenses, bought some worms, threw a picnic together with some leftovers in our kitchen, and gave Cruz one too many pep talks about sharp hooks on the end of the fishing lines.  For a year, he's been practicing his casting down our stairs with nothing but a rubber play fish attached to the line.  Attempting to get your three year old to understand that the hook on the end of his line is indeed very sharp made me a bit nervous.  I was a little nervous, especially because he's been in this very independent, "I'll do it MYSELF" phase where accepting help from his mom or dad is definitely not acceptable right now.  Beau and I went into the experience with very little expectations and no plans to actually catch a fish.

It may have been thee perfect afternoon to fish, with picturesque blue skies and big fluffy clouds, a cool breeze, and low-seventy degree temperatures, but I'm pretty sure my boy Thoreau would have found another lake if he had set up camp next to our family.  We were anything but peaceful at first, with Mila spitting up half her bottle on our quilt, Cruz puncturing a hole in his juice box and watching it geyser, also on our quilt, Beau attempting to bait and set all three poles, and both of us continually telling Cruz things like "Don't get too close!"  "Wait for us to help you!"  "Watch out for your sister!"  "No, you can't throw that in the water!"  He was all about casting at first, but soon took to setting up our picnic and throwing rocks in the water instead, which likely ruined any chance of catching a fish anyway.  That is, until we decided to reel his Mickey pole in to check if his worm was still attached and...

There was hardly any effort involved in Cruz's first catch.  For all we know, that little fish could have been stuck on that worm since we had put the line in a half hour before.  Cruz was excited, proudly grabbing onto his line and smiling ear to ear as if he's been doing this for years.  It wasn't until Beau unhooked the little guy and threw him back in that Cruz's pride turned to fury.  He wanted to throw the fish back in and threw quite the fit to tell us about it.  I kept telling him that he could throw the next one back in, knowing in the back of my mind that there would likely not be a next one.

Until five minutes later when that silly Mickey pole attracted another fishy!  This one was much larger, almost a foot long, and he came out with his mouth wide open.  We gave Cruz every opportunity to throw that sucker back in the lake, but he kindly declined and waved goodbye from a distance. 

By the time we caught the third and fourth fish with that Mickey pole, Cruz was totally over the novelty of it all and was collecting even bigger rocks to throw in, rocks that apparently had little effect on the fish appeal.  Beau and I caught squat with our poles, but that $10 Mickey pole made up for it.  And those ever important virtues often learned while fishing?  You know, patience, peace, perseverance?  Let's just say, Cruz may be in for a rude awakening the next time we fish.  Unless that pole of his holds some kind of special power or something...:)

By the end of the night, Mila had fallen asleep in her stroller and the three of us spread out on the blanket, eating our sandwiches, drinking strawberry pop out of glass bottles, and watching the sun begin to set over the lake.  We enjoyed a few minutes of good Thoreau time, and as I've learned with parenting, those few minutes buy you a lifetime of days.  Beau said he hoped we put fishing into our rotation of summer pasttimes and I said maybe next time we'll pay a baby-sitter. ;)   


1 comment:

  1. Oh what fun!!! I love all those awesome pictures!!! Cruz & Dad looked mighty proud of those fish!! Love you all!



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