Breakfast in bed isn’t for everyone. Being a mom, or a parent at all, holds a variety of ups and downs, but sharing the things we love with our children is what makes everything worth it.
I was a born tomboy. I loved getting dirty, playing sports, and especially fishing and hunting. I’ve always found a sweet serenity in walking down overgrown paths to sit on the banks of a muddy pond and breathe in the life surrounding me. It doesn’t matter how old I get, my heart leaps when I spot a fish jumping out of the water in the distance. Ripples on the water’s surface never fail to calm me when life gets rough.
Sharing that with my children is important to me.
My daughters are both girly girls. I’ve had to learn to love pink glitter, princesses, and ballet. They love animals, hiking, and just being in nature too, but when they were little I wasn’t sure if they’d enjoy hooking a worm or casting a line.
We took a few camping trips and they enjoyed every second of exploring the areas. It thrilled me to identify different bugs, fish, and plants for them.
After my son was born the kids joined forces with my husband and gave me the best Mother’s Day present. Instead of worrying about appeasing my mom or my sister (who is never appeased), we packed up a cooler, got our gear ready and headed out to the August A. Bush Memorial Conservation Area. The idea of spending the day in the sunshine on the water was perfect.
We drove down off the main road, got some bait at the headquarters, and slowly set out for Lake 35, a familiar spot from my childhood.
There were plenty of fishermen along the shoreline and boating. My daughters jumped out of the car begging to see the worms. “Let’s get settled in first.” I laughed.
My husband and I carried the gear and our young son and led the way to a little unoccupied patch of land. Our middle child asked, “Can I hold a worm?”
She giggled and talked to it as I laid it in her open palm─the same way I did when I was little.
“Just don’t get too attached. The fish need to eat too,” I reminded her.
She grinned. “I know. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be nice to it before it goes out.”
I remembered saying something similar when I was little. My eldest didn’t want to hook her worm, but I got it ready and showed her how to cast.
She played the snag the grass game for a while, but after some practice she was able to make her line sail into the water with a plop. I chased after my son who had just learned to walk and was always testing his boundaries when my husband shouted, “We got one!”
I grabbed the boy and jogged over to them. It was exhilarating to see my ballerina catch a fish with pride. She caught another one and her sister snagged her own.
The hubsy and I took turns watching the little one and teaching the girls about fish, how to handle them, and how to quickly end their misery once they were caught. (Sticking them between the eyes with a pocketknife is a quick humane technique that many fishers use).
It’s not what most people think about when they think of Mother’s Day, but I love it. Sure, I might like to go out for a fancy breakfast beforehand. It’s nice to dress up and enjoy not having to cook or clean dishes sometimes. That doesn’t keep me from changing clothes in the afternoon to rush into the sunshine with a fishing pole and a bucket of worms.
We plan to keep the Mother’s Day Fishing Trip tradition. Today is all about munching some muffins for brunch and relaxing under the great wide sky, but after that the water belongs to me and fishing with my children.
Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms.