Today, I took my daughter fishing. For the first time in her short three years on earth, she threw a line into the water, and watched with giddy anticipation as the bobber floated and danced. While I realize a child’s first fishing trip is usually a right of passage reserved for fathers or grandfathers, I felt it was my motherly duty to take her down to the creek.
After all, I’d like fishing to be “our” thing. Something for the girls, an opportunity to bond over waiting and watching. While we may enjoy side by side mani-pedis someday (that sounds pretty good about now), I’d like our quality time to have, well, a little more quality. She’ll learn patience, persistence and most importantly, how to be stronger woman than her mother. You see, as much as I love our country life, I’m kind of a weenie. I squeal when I see mice (and bugs, snakes or any other vermin). I don’t ride horses (too scary) and a rooster gunning for my heels brings on some kind of violent psycho scream flailing that’s really quite embarrassing. (We only have hens now.)
I spent half of my childhood in a rickety lawn chair beside some body of water. I was my father or grandfather’s sidekick on many a fishing trip, and I want my daughters to grow up the same way. I remember the first time I built up the courage to bait my own hook with a squirming, wiggling nightcrawler, the early morning hours when we’d “sneak” out of the house to hit our favorite fishing hole, and the taste of the day’s catch after mom fried it up in the pan.
While we didn’t catch anything other than a good memory (I’m the least successful fisherwoman, ever), I consider it one of my best fishing trips yet. I taught my daughter how to cast, how to reel, and how to be “very, very quiet” so you don’t scare the fish. After explaining to her the sensitive nature of fish ears, she leaned over and asked in a barely audible voice, “Mom, can I whisper something to you?” I knelt down and asked, “Sure honey, what is it?” She buried her lips in my ear and quietly said, “I love you.”