First Catch

During last week’s camping trip, and our youngest son’s second fishing outing, he bemoaned the fact that he has never caught a fish. So, in a stellar Dad move, my husband asked a friend where to go, got a fishing license, and we all (crazy dog included) drove up to Jefferson Lake, Colorado. It’s a beautiful location in the mountains, and it was a gorgeous summer day.

We walked about a half mile along the shore and set up camp. I was in charge of the dog, who was much-enamored with the chipmunks.

About an hour later, a shout went out across the water. “I caught a fish! I caught a fish!” So ridiculously loud, in his usual way, that I am surprised all the fish didn’t immediately vacate the premises.

We raced toward him with net, tackle box, camera, and cheers.

“I feel like I won the lottery!” he beamed.

The best though, was how he carried the dead fish back to the car, out in front of him, smiling from ear to ear, slowing down as he approached other fishermen and their families, so they could stop and look and express how impressed they were with his catch.

If that weren’t awesome enough, in a second stellar Dad move, there was a recipe waiting at home. The proud fishermen prepared and cooked the rainbow trout in butter and brown sugar, and then we all ate.

I think he might be hooked.

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Scuba at the Aquarium

The other night, I watched my sons get scuba certified in a huge fish tank at the Denver Aquarium. For the first few minutes, all I could see were their flippers and legs hanging off the platform, big fish and a stingray swimming by.

Then they jumped in. My older son (13), eager for this adventure, kept dipping his face in the water to watch the sea life.

My younger son (12) kept his head above water, waiting for the instructor to plunge into the water after them. My eyes were drawn to the whiteness of his skinny ankles peeking out from a baggy wetsuit.

My older son waved at me through the glass, but I could tell the little one was struggling. While the others barely moved their feet to stay upright, he pedaled rapidly as if he were on a bike climbing a steep hill. The instructor stayed with him, held his hand, had to pull him down when they dove deeper.

Maybe a mom shouldn’t watch her sons be tested. With more than an hour in the water, he never looked through the glass, never saw me watching, waiting for a signal. I could feel his discomfort, nerves.

Then suddenly, it looked like the instructor was leading him quickly to the surface. The others followed, huddling around him. From my perch below, I fretted.

My older son ducked back under the water, signaling his little brother was too cold. Doing so-so.

I waited, watching those white, white ankles.

Finally, big brother gave the thumbs up.

Breathe, mom.

And the certification went on.