Lately, I’ve been taking the kids fishing on the Charles. One of the benefits of my by-now-long-forgotten jogging regimen is that I was able to scope out some nice fishing spots. You wouldn’t normally think to look behind your supermarket, and yet, at least where I live, you’d be surprised by what you find back there.
The Preschooler has his own little fishing pole with an easy push-button reel and a bobber. I think we got it at Target. For bait, we use hot dogs from the conveniently located grocery store. We stand on a dock or the riverbank, plunk it in, and just wait for something to happen. And when nothing does, we resort to watching the cormorants sun themselves, counting ducklings, and looking for turtles. We catch nothing, but I don’t really care because it’s fun.
Sometimes I use Husband’s fancy-schmancy fishing rod and cast out with a lure, reeling it in with a rhythm that mimics nothing in nature, and praying to God that I don’t get the line tangled up in something, as I’m wont to do. Then, I’d have no choice but to cut the line, and I have no idea how to rig that thing back up again so Husband won’t notice that I’ve been messing with his stuff.
Husband is the fisherman in the family, having fished with his grandfather since he was a kid. Years ago, he offered to teach me how to fish and I could barely contain myself. Fishing seemed like the perfect activity for me. You can get lost in your thoughts for hours at a time while still getting credit for doing something productive. Plus, you get to be outside, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with dinner.
But bad things happen when spouses try to teach each other anything. God forbid we actually learn something from one another at this point in our marriage. For example, I should be learning how to listen carefully and follow instructions, instead of doing what I damn well please. Meanwhile, he should be learning how to be patient, but at the same time not be condescending, which, apparently, is very difficult to do. We always end up driving home in a huff.
However, the whole family went fishing last weekend at Spy Pond in Arlington. The kids had a blast wading in the most-likely-quite-unsanitary water, Husband caught a couple of fish, and I caught my first. See? I can learn things. So, yesterday, I brought the kids back to the banks of the Charles with my newfound confidence, and guess how many fish we caught?
THIRTEEN! Twelve sunfish and a bass. All were dehooked and released (I’m not eating any Charles River fish). The kids are going to get entirely the wrong idea about fishing, but we still had the best time.