Rain, Bass and Growing Up

March 10th, 2007

Daddy was proud yesterday. Well, twice actually. The day started out warm and I took advantage of the weather while getting lots of outdoor work accomplished. The young one came home after a half-day at kindergarten and had a picnic on his playset. I got the tools and chainsaw ready to cut the trees on the dam, while he wanted go fishing. Then, what do they say about the weather in Missouri? Oh… “Stick around, it’ll change.” I think they say that everywhere… But of course it began raining gently and we went to the barn.

He still wanted to go fishing… “You want to fish in the rain? By yourself at the pond?” I asked. He answered with a resounding “Yes!” I was proud of him, not only because he didn’t mind the rain, but also because he could finally fish at the pond, mostly by himself. He has made such wonderful progress at swimming lessons over the last six months. I’ve been taking him twice a week since last October, and he finally can swim and stay afloat… and loves the water. So when he asks to go to the pond, I can finally say “Okay!” and know he’ll be safe, and can get himself out. I still want to be within sight distance, but I can be in the barn now and check on him. It’s a big step, because we wouldn’t let him down there by himself until now.

Oh I almost forgot… the other day we released the minnows, do you know what he did? I was busy with the bag of fish and he said, “Daddy… do you think I can walk across this log?” (I’m trying to let the fish out…) “Ah… well probably, I’m sure you can….” I look up and he’s halfway across a little log in the corner of the pond! Now this is about 12 feet long, across water that’s 2-3 feet deep! So I quietly watched him… lest he fall in if I say something! There he is, an apple he was eating in one hand, and balancing with the other… he was really concentrating, the picture of childhood… and he made it! He jumped with excitement at the other end as I clapped for him. He had asked to walk across before and I always said “No!” because it was winter, cold, etc. But I told him that was really terrific…. “Can I do it again?” he says. “Well, I’m SURE you can… but not right now… ” That could have been a Norman Rockwell painting, it was so cool! So anyway, my other proud moment? I think this is three or four… okay I’m proud of him all the time!

But this one is neat… I’m working away in the barn and he walks up with a smile on his face, and a nice fat fish on his pole! He caught a Largemouth Bass and walked up to the barn to show it to me! His eyes beamed with pride as he said, “I caught it all by myself, and I didn’t even need your help!” I was so happy for him… when he went to the pond I really hoped he would catch a fish. After taking his picture, we took it back to the pond and let it go. The last few weeks have shown a change in his youth… he is not the same six-year old of just a few months ago. Our relationship has changed… he has changed. He’s growing up.

First Largemouth Bass caught all by himself

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