So as a fishing guide you would think that the first story that pops to my head that I want to share is about catching a tuna on a fly, or the biggest bass I ever caught. Negative. Anyone who know me, knows I am at my best when I have kids on the boat. Anyone who also know me, knows my wife and son go to Maine for the summer leaving me alone, so the day before they leave I ask them both what they want to do and James says, Fishing with Dada! Well if this down’t melt your heart I don’t know what will.
So we jump on the boat and head out on the water into a favorite spot in the harbor where I know there are a ton of fish. James is 2.5 and can’t cast yet (he thinks he can…), but loves to reel and be involved. The first twenty minutes were all laughs, we had three fish slap out our albie snax and miss and another two fish on that we lost. No worries, there is activity. James is still happy as is Mama. I knew we had maybe an hour window. Another 20 minutes pass and same thing, 4-5 more swirls and 2 fish on and lost. No worries right? Gorgeous day, ate lunch with my wife and child on a boat, life is pretty perfect.
Then, the heckling begins. Mama starts, followed by Buster (my nick name for James,) about what kind of fishermen I am if I can’t even land a fish for a picture. I guess this is when you know you are part of a loving family, right? Well, as much as I am thinking there is going to be a dramatic ending here, it goes the exact opposite way. Two more fish on, two more fish off, dada is frustrated, mama is laughing her ass off and buster… well he was the happiest kid in the world. He didn’t care about a picture, that was mama and dada, all Buster wanted was to be fishing.
I tell this story as we put so much pressure on results in both life and fishing. How many fish did you catch? what was the biggest fish you caught? Did you accomplish a task at work…blah,blah,blah. James could care less about catching, all he wanted to do was fish with dada and he did that and when it was time to go in he simply asked, can we do this again soon? There are so many lessons we can learn from kids not the least of which is enjoy the adventure your on and measure success by the process and not by the reward. James and I understand this, Mom….well she still gives me a hard time. As we say all the time, take your kids fishing, catch or not, there will be a memory, if you want there to be.