A little soundtrack for this post…
We try to make sure our kids know that good choices mean rewards, and bad choices mean consequences. This isn’t easy, and it becomes even more complicated when you try to teach your kids what “grace” is.
All that to say, one of my son’s favorite rewards is what he calls, “adventures”. Translation: river stomping. After snagging whatever container looks the most intriguing from the recycling bin, we head down to the water.
We worked our way down the bank until we found a pocket of 9″-12″ planters. The evening quickly turned into the perfect evening of kid fishing: constant grabs from small, easy-to-manage fish. I lost count after 15 but the bead-head flashback hare’s ear was getting it done.
Shortly after we started a middle-aged man wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat joined us across the river. He was throwing spoons and was visibly pissed that he wasn’t getting the same results, but when I saw that he had a stringer on his hip with two 10″ fish I decided not to feel bad about it.
Fishing with a 3-year-old is very different than a quiet evening midstream but it has a sweetness to it nonetheless. His favorite part is watching the indicator disappear, gasping each time. That and giving each and every trout an enthusiastic farewell that usually includes the title, “Mr. Fishy”.
Call it fatherly bias but I think my kid has some good handling technique; soft hands and quick releases.
I suspect the dynamic of these trips will change over the years. It has between my father and I and these sort of things tend to repeat themselves. Assuming he keeps an interest, we have a lot of river to cover together. It’s hard not to look forward to watching him downstream with his rod doubled over. That said, I treasure the curiosity and simplicity of this chapter too.
Driving home listening to his retelling of the evening’s events over the top of The Lumineer’s “Charlie Boy”, while watching the horizon change colors is the perfect end to any day. Grace indeed.