In the days leading up to the Cub Scout camping trip that we went on in October, my son asked over and over if we would be able to go fishing while we were there. He had asked to go fishing numerous times before, and like any good father I just kept saying, “I’ll take you sometime soon.” Since our campsite was going to be within walking distance of a lake, and we already had most of the fishing gear we needed stored away in the garage, I had officially run out of excuses.
At that time it had been about twenty years (no joke) since I’d been fishing. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go…I just wasn’t sure my son would enjoy fishing as much as he enjoyed the idea of fishing. Only time would tell.
So on that crisp, cool Saturday morning in Deep East Texas, my son and I collected our gear and walked the 100 or so yards to the edge of the lake. After finding a nice clear spot, we cast our lines and waited.
After about five minutes, my son got bored and frustrated because he hadn’t caught a fish yet, and he left me there alone by the lake so he could go play with his friends. He hasn’t asked to go fishing again since.
Father/Son fishing stories are as old as history, but there is one worn out old tale that has always stuck with me.
Henry’s father was a very busy man whose time was extremely valuable. On the advice of his father, Henry began keeping a diary to record his life events. One of those momentous occasions that Henry recorded was a fishing trip with his father. The entry read: “Went fishing with father today, the most glorious day of my life.”
This day was in fact so momentous to young Henry that he related it to folks he met on into adulthood. Many years later, Henry compared this entry in his diary to his father’s entry for the same day. One can only imagine his dismay when Henry read the words: “Went fishing today – a day wasted.”
The son was Henry Brooks Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams, and grandson of President John Adams.
No matter how much is going on or how crazy life becomes, always keep in mind the little things that make life worth living.
When my son ran off to go play with his friends, I didn’t get mad or frustrated at the waste of time and money. I just sat there for a bit, enjoyed the scenery, cast my line a few more times, and relished the fact that I was able to take my son fishing for the first time in his life.