I was thinking this weekend about last Memorial Day. Tim, the boys, and I spent the day fishing and enjoyed a picnic. It was one of our favorite things to do.
Of course, on any fishing trip I spent way more time taking photos than casting a line. I loved watching the boys interact with their Dad. It thrilled me to see their excitement when they caught a fish. Last year, Austin was convinced he'd caught the prize fish but instead pulled up a turtle. Later a fish (or probably a turtle) broke his Dad's pole. He looked to Tim's reaction, to see whether he should laugh or cry. As with all our fishing trips, it ended in laughter.
I remember one of Austin's first "real" fishing trips. Tim started taking him to the lake when he was only one but it was several years before he understood it. In the early days, Tim wouldn't understand why it was more fun for him to run around and throw rocks in the lake than sit and fish! He was about three or four when he finally got the hang of it and had enough patience to sit for a bit. Austin was so proud, going to the store to pick out his own pole and tackle box. He had his own little chair, a miniature version like his Dad's, and sat right beside him at the edge of the lake. At the end of the day, he wrapped his arms around his Dad's leg (which was at his level) and said in a big voice, "Thanks, Dad. This was the best day of my life!" I captured the photo and it is still hanging on bedroom wall.
One of the funniest fishing trips I remember was back to same lake, several years later. Austin was old enough at this point to bait his own hook, cast a line, and really get into the art of fishing. Sadly, there was a young kid beside us who had not quite mastered it. He would catch a fish, shove it in a Wal-Mart bag, step on the fish to rip the hook out, and then jump on it if it started to flounder. Austin didn't know how to react to this - actually none of us did. Tim tried to stop him and teach him what to do but later he'd resort back to his strange behavior. I have to say in the moment, it was quite disturbing. However, later we recalled the day and laughed about it. Austin would say it freaked him out and he didn't know if he ever wanted to fish again! He did though and nearly every trip after that we'd have to remind him of the fish stomper boy.
I'm glad I spent so much time taking pictures instead of fishing, as I can now look back and recall sweet memories. Moments of time that show him from a toddler, barely big enough to hold the pole; to nearly a young man, taller than his Dad. All great memories that we'll carry with us, the next time we head out to the lake.