Proper Grace

It rained during the night. It is damp and cloudy right now. Bernie and I discuss whether to head for home or stay with the hopes the weather will improve so that he can paint the lodge. The tasks I was planning are indoors, so it doesn’t matter to me.

Yesterday, my son-in-law took my daughter Heidi’s two sons fishing. Heidi and I came along on the pontoon to help manage, but taking kids fishing is really Jerry’s thing. He is willing to bait the hooks in case anyone is squeamish. He handles the flapping fish to unhook them after they are caught. But it is important that the child pull the fish in, even if Jerry’s hand is also on the pole.

Three-year-old Jackson caught the most fish…three of the five. Charlie, eleven, and Grandma caught the other two. When Jackson realized the fishes were held in the live well under my seat, he moved me with considerable insistence so he could watch his catch swim around. The overflow tube tended to pop as the boat moved and the water sloshed in the live well. “Fish farted,” Jackson said laughing. He also found reasons to say “Crap” a number of times. Everyone blamed the older brother, but Charlie insists that he isn’t to blame. “I stopped saying crap a long time ago,” he said. “It only takes once when you are someone’s hero,” I said. How do you stop a child from using words when everyone laughs when he does it? As a parent educator, I used to say, “Stop laughing.” Easier said than done.

Jerry filleted the blue gills and put them in a plastic bag for Heidi to take home. Jackson came running from the fish cleaning house holding the sandwich bag high for us to admire, which we did, of course. He handled the dissection of the fish without protesting, which is always a concern with younger anglers.

The next experience will be when mom fries the fish fillets in a pan. As they say grace, I hope some gratitude is offered for the leeches that made their special meal possible.

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