Gone Fishin’

June 29, 2008

Saturday, the kids and I went fishing.  The three of us have sort of been on this ‘weekend adventure’ kick lately.  Through the week I work so much, it’s hard to do much more than trails/play outside/eat dinner/clean up/bathe/pray and go to bed.  So we’ve realized on the weekends…it’s on!

In the past, we’ve been to a fishing spot to visit friends.  Son got to touch a fish.  That was the extent of it.  Very safe.  Very structured.  Very sure I wouldn’t have to touch anything slimy.  It has been over 10 years since I have been fishing… real fishing.  Some of my ‘southern girl’ disappeared and it was replaced with Starbucks??  But I did have fond memories of fishing and I did want my kids to experience that.  So.We.Went.

My original thought was just that I would take them so they could have the experience.  My careful planning and inviting of very countrified friend allowed me to fool myself into thinking I wouldn’t have to bait a hook or touch a fish.

I’m not a ‘girly-girl’ by any means – I even surprise myself by caring so much about touching worms and slimy fish.  But geez.  I really didn’t want to have to do it. 

We were doing fine at first.  My friend brought her sons and they were more than happy to show off their baiting skillz.  So I politely let them.  That didn’t last long.  So I forced myself to bait the hooks, with the live worms, because my children were being waaaaay to squeemish.  I knew they were getting their lead from me.  I needed to set an example.

Plus…what kind of southern girl am I if I can’t bait my own hook??  I baited my own hook 10 years ago when I went fishing.  Why is it such a big deal now?  So I did and it was done and that was that.

We caught a few fish.  The boys were more than happy to show off their taking-the-fish-off-the-hook skillz.  For a minute.  Then it was up to me, again. 

Mother=Huge Job Title.

So I tried to take the easy way out.  “Son, come over here and grab this fish and mommy will show you how get the hook out.”  Son said, “No way.  That’s gross!” 

“What?!  Not two seconds ago you were holding a live fish.  You practically kissed it.  You picked it up and pet it like a kitty.”

“No mom.  I can’t do it.  It’s slimy.”

So I try daughter, even though I know better.  “Baby girl?  Come on over and let me show you.”  Instantly she had tears.  In.stant.ly.  What uP??! It’s just a fish.  It won’t hurt you.  Come over and do this so I won’t have to. 

So I reply, “Come on, baby.  Brave yourself through it.  That has always been one of your strongest features.  I believe in you.  You can do it!!!”

She continued to stand there with tears streaming down her face.

Then my friend yells over to me, “Just do it.  I’ve never seen you be such a baby about anything.”

Oh My Gawsh, Ya’ll.  I am not a baby.  That was RUDE!  But I didn’t care.  “Please will you do it for me?”  It killed me to ask for help but I seriously was having issues with touching the darn fish.

Then I looked over and saw my daughter watching me.  She realizes that I am being needy.  She realizes that I am trying to get her to do something I wouldn’t do.  Oh no.  This is not the example I want to lead.  So I grabbed that fish and held it tight for dear life while I twisted the hook out of it’s mouth. 

Eeewwwwwwww!!!  I don’t know what was worse…having to touch the slimy fish or knowing that I was coming off like a girly-girl.  I have always been proud to be independent.  I have always been proud to never be known as ‘needy’.  But if there was a time in my life that I wished for a man to come in and rescue me — to let me be the cute little helpless damsel in distress — this was it.

I am happy to say that once I did the first one, I was ok.  It all came back to me from over a decade ago.  I’m good to go.  My children followed my lead and gussied up some strength to also become more independent in this small/huge way.  Yay!

We were there for hours and they didn’t want to leave.  I really thought after about 20 minutes they would be over it and want to go to Six Flags or the pool.  Nope.  Not my kids.  They are totally into the nature.  They have been begging me since we left to go back. 

We will be going back.  We can even go by ourselves now with no extra people to fool me into thinking I won’t have to bait a hook or touch a fish.   I’m a big girl.  I’m a southern chica.  Mostly, I’m a mom.  I love my kids — even if it means touching slimy living gross things.



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