Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For the Good of the Child

My six year old son Bo was expecting to go fishing Saturday. He had been good all week long in school. He said I had promised to take him fishing if he was good in school that week. I remember no such promise, but it didn’t take much to convince me to take my son fishing regardless.

That morning my brother Tracy and I were working in the garden. Uncle Percy stopped by to see if we wanted to go fishing with him that afternoon. I have tagged along behind Uncle Percy hunting and fishing most of my life. I am now nearly 39 years old, but there is little doubt in my mind that he still sees me as a young’un. I told him I had to take Bo fishing. He asked if I needed crickets. I told him I had plenty left from the ones he had given me the week before. He said to call him when I got ready to go.

It appeared that Bo and I were going fishing with Uncle Percy. Now I knew what the plan was, but I didn’t tell Bo. You see, I know my son. He’s rough and tumble for a six year old, but he doesn’t like new things, and I knew want to fish from the hill, not from a boat.

That afternoon Bo and I met Uncle Percy at his clubhouse. Now this is a little underhanded, I admit it. You see, Bo loves to fish at the clubhouse pond. The banks are kept clean and Uncle Percy feeds the fish regularly. It’s easy to stand there on the bank and catch a mess of fish. So Bo was happy, he thought we were at the clubhouse to fish, but we weren’t. We were just there to get the boat so we could go to another pond.

After Uncle Percy and I had put the boat in the back of his truck, I moved Bo from my truck to Uncle Percy’s. Then the questions started.

Daddy, why did we get the Boat?

Well, we’re going to fish from the boat.

I don’t want to fish from the boat, can we fish from the bank?

No, there’s too much stuff around the bank.

Daddy, I don’t like fishing from a boat.

Well son, we’re going to fish from the boat.

We got to the pond and unloaded the boat. We loaded everything in the boat we needed, bream busters, paddles, crickets, and tackle. I threw a three gallon bucket upside down between the seats for Bo to sit on. Then I wrestled a life jacket onto him. The whole time he complained. He didn’t want to get in the boat. He didn’t like fishing from a boat. All of his pleas were heard, but none of them heeded. Bo was placed in the boat between Uncle Percy and me and we pushed off.

Now it didn’t take long for the fish to start biting. Uncle Percy’s cork would sink. He would set the hook and hand the pole to Bo, so he could pull it in. My cork would sink and I would do the same. After about five minutes Bo told me, “You know Daddy, I like fishing from a boat.”

Now that’s doing what’s good for the child, the Briary River way.


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