A simple fishing pole. Nothing complex. Nothing revolutionary. Nothing surprising. Just a kid-size fishing pole.
It is, arguably, my son’s favorite birthday present. He received it on Saturday during our annual joint birthday bash. We share a lot of things – names, birthdays parties, even many of the same likes and dislikes. Except fishing. We’ve never shared fishing because, well, I’ve never really been one to fish.
He loves fishing. I’m not really sure that it has anything to do with the actual fishing part of the process, though. It’s an activity he was introduced to by his best friend and their family. He’s been their guest at their cottage on the lake, and fishing is just one of those things you do when you have a cottage on the lake. So his best friend loves fishing. Ergo, my son loves fishing.
Until now, I haven’t really had to deal with this. The fishing all takes place at the cottage on the lake with other people. I’ve never been there. We have no fishing equipment, so it doesn’t come up at home. Until now.
He keeps picking it up. Admiring it. Cranking the… “crank,” I guess you call it. And though he hasn’t asked, I can tell the question is coming. “When can we go fishing?”
Any hope I may have had of putting off the inevitable has been dashed, though, as our church has just decided to host a “family fishing day” next month. “Family fishing day”? I have no idea where it came from. But it’s coming.
It’s not that I’m against fishing. Fishing is fine… for people who like to fish. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been fishing. But it would take more than two hands and a foot to count the number of years since that last happened. Even then, it wasn’t really something that I embraced–or even cared about.
So I face the great unknown: fishing. I don’t like the unknown. I try to avoid it as much as possible. But now my son has a fishing pole. And along with that fishing pole, he has great expectations. I can’t let him down, and I can’t put it off. So I’ll step
boldly sheepishly into this brave new world and take my son fishing on “family fishing day.” And maybe he can teach me a thing or two. At the very least, we’ll be together. That makes it a good day.
Ben Martin is Editor-In-Chief of The Father Life.
Image by: Salva Barbera, SXC