Fishing is a big deal in our small home town, and worthy of a post of its own. As I continue working through the A to Z Challenge, I’d originally debated between F is for Fatherhood, faith, family…how all three concepts lost to fishing, I’m not sure.
I do know that, while Single Mom Smiling is an attempt to offer encouragement to those suffering, we can’t be serious all the time. In truth, with five boys, I can’t be serious very long. An element of joy must be in all we do, and I can find joy in fishing.
And I don’t even like fishing.
Fishing & Me
Fishing means waking up before the crack of dawn, while it is still dark out. It means freezing by a creek no matter what precipitation God decides to rain down on us. It means tangled fishing line and lost bobbers. It means torturing the worm as we impale its wriggling body on a hook (Yes, I feel bad for the worm). It means pulling a slippery, squirming fish to the shore. It means the “lucky” ones get away with a hook embedded in the side of their mouths (feel bad for the fish too). It means days the pail goes home empty and the chart goes home disappointed. It means dirt and mud and slime and cold and wet.
And once last year, it meant worms that George forgot to cover escaped in my refrigerator.
But he’s assured me that will never happen again.
I’ve assured him, he’s right!
So with all this yuck involved in fishing, why do I keep doing it every year?
Because fishing is about more than that yuck. Because when God sends us trials (yes, there are many days I consider fishing a trial. I’m pretty sure there are days the first disciples would have agreed with me!), He always sends benefits. It’s up to us to discover them.
Fishing in our small town also means a big fishing contest for those under 16. The fishing contest kicks off with Stocking Day, a day when a pickup truck with huge tanks of trout in its bed is brought in from a fish hatchery. The local and state police escort tons of kids in the backs of countless pick up trucks from our local high school to different spots along the local stream. At each stop, kids pile out of those trucks and jostle for a position near the stocking truck where the fish are scooped out of the tanks and placed in those pails. The kids then either race or stagger, depending on their age and size, to the stream where they deposit those fish.
No matter how cold fish stocking day is, the day signifies an end to the dreaded winter. It’s a day when old friends who haven’t seen each other over the long, cold season emerge and catch up, trading stories and laughing huddled together in small, shivering groups.
Yes, despite being less than enthusiastic about fishing, stocking day is one of my favorite days of the year.
Fishing also means time the beginning of time by the stream with George, time without laptop, iPods, and brothers (although Kaleb will join us some days), a time without distractions.
A time for a mother and son to bond. He’d laugh and roll his eyes at that, but time by the stream is time we can spend discussing school, sports, friends, girls, and pressures, and I can gain insight on how to best parent this precious little gift. It is time that would otherwise slip away almost unnoticed until it was gone.
George is really into fishing. I don’t get it, but I am grateful for this time together and for this proof that God always provides a reason for joy – even in fishing! 🙂