I fight to keep my kids away from the tv. Even when we are at the lake, with all of nature around us. So today, I finally said, turn off the tv. We’re going fishing. We did it old school. We walked around the whole cove. We stopped to poke sticks in ant hills. We saw a snake and just watched it. We talked about the birds we saw. We untangled fishing lines from trees. I stayed patient. The dog followed us and laid down and rubbed his face in things that smelled dead. We laughed at a startled turtle flopping off a log into the water. We talked about the old outhouse and what it was for. We peeked in a deserted house. I showed the kids how you could use a vine like a whip and how cool the sound is. We poke more sticks in anthills.
We didn’t catch a thing.
We walked back home. We sat on the dock. I made them bait their own hooks. They did it and didn’t cry, poke eyes out, or let the dog eat a hook. I drank a Moscow mule as the sun set. We laughed.
We came in, took a shower and heated up leftovers. We ate them on the screen porch, by candlelight. We talked.
After dinner, we went down to the dock. We had left the lights on for night fishing. We caught three fish. (Not exactly a mess o’crappie, but enough to keep’em interested.) tiller brought her blankie. We watched the poles, and we looked at the stars. We talked about Jupiter, and life on other planets. We talked about the moon.
The kids got cold. Rollie grabbed my hand to hold as we walked back up to the house. He’s 9. Almost ten. He might not reach for my hand next April.
We had a really perfect day. The kind that I think I’ll recall 20 years from now.
Or maybe just on a Thursday afternoon next week when I’m sitting in a cubicle, wishing life were more simple than it is.