Ever since he joined our family a couple of years ago, my son has been talking about fishing.
He knows a lot about fishing. He loves fishing. He’s been fishing a ton of times.
We are so not a fishing family. I love the outdoors, but we are a look for shells, go for a hike, watch birds, look for wildlife and try to take pictures kind of family.
But this summer, I told the kids I would take them camping. And if my son the professional angler wanted to renew his love of fishing, he could get a pole and give it a try.
So, we went pole shopping. He grabbed one off the rack, sparkly and red and impressive.
“I need this one!”
It was $400. And didn’t even have a reel on it.
“Um, dude, this says it’s for marlin, shark and tuna.”
“That’s what I want to catch! Epic!”
Since we were in fact, going to a freshwater lake where he could fish off a pier, I explained the chances of catching sharks were fairly low. We settled on a rod and reel combo at about a tenth of the price of his dream rod. This one was sparkly blue, and the master angler was fine with it.
I, however, was having some doubts about his alleged fishing knowledge.
These doubts were compounded when we got to the lake.
The kid who “knew a lot about fishing” could not get the string out of the reel or a hook on the string. And had long since tossed his instruction manual.
Fortunately, a friendly grandpa was around to give us a fishing 101 clinic. He showed my son how to tie on a hook, how to work the reel, where to put on his bobber and weights.
Then, it was time for the worms. The professional angler opened the box.
“Uh, mom? Can you put them on my hook?”
“They’re too wiggly.”
Sometimes, when you’re a mom, you do things you never expected to do.
Like impaling giant worms onto a fishing hook. By the way, you can’t just get them on there once. You have to thread them on in a little worm ball of torture. I whispered silent apologies and tried to act like this was something I dealt with every day.
The master fisherman dropped the hook into the water with great excitement. And brought it up to check on it with great excitement. And repeated this process about a dozen times until I said “JUST LEAVE IT THERE!”
Then… a tug.
All of 3 inches long, but a fish! On his line!
“My first fish!” he announced.
Great celebration ensued until it was time to let it go. The great fisherman was not interested in touching the fish to get it off the hook.
So, again, I pretended this was something I did every day. Grabbed the wriggling fish, got the hook out, slid it back into the lake. Tried not to think about the worm guts and fish blood on my hands.
“I love fishing,” announced my son. “Can you get another worm on there?”