I ended up not going to see my dad for Father’s Day. I think there was a little miscommunication. I thought he was taking my mom to his sister’s for a wedding shower, when in reality she went with a different sister, and Dad ended up being home alone. So much for Daughter of the Year Award. Actually I was never even in the running; I’m awful about cards and gifts and such.
So, when I talked to Dad on Father’s Day, I told him that I wanted to come up to his farm early the next morning and go fishing with him for awhile. Honestly, he didn’t seem too thrilled. . . I was a little taken aback. I mean, really. Me, Dad, fishing. . . wouldn’t anybody be thrilled?
He kind of paused and said he didn’t think it would be a good day, he doubted that the fish would bite because of the heat or thunder or something that I wasn’t listening to because I was still recovering from the blow of him NOT saying “Hey, hey , fishing with you would be the best Father’s Day gift any dad in the world could have.”
Anyway, I kind of blew him off, telling him that the fish would bite, that I would come early, that I would leave Grace at home so there would be absolutely no distractions. I mean, Come on, Dad, it’ll be fun.
Later that same day, I called my mom to make sure Dad wasn’t sick or had something else planned that he didn’t want to share – remember, the miscommunication piece at the beginning? My dad is very good at suggesting very strongly (aka telling) me what to do but is equally bad at being honest with what’s going on with him. Due to that, my mom has served the last 50 + years being my dad’s interpreter to the rest of the world.
So Mom says he’s fine. Come on. Of course, he wants you to come. She’s so good at healing my bruised ego.
Monday morning finds me eating an early breakfast with Mom and Dad. Then Dad and I go out to dig for worms, which proves to be more difficult than I had hoped for and only served to reinforce Dad’s thoughts that fishing would most certainly be a bust.
Within 5 minutes of tossing our lines in the water, Dad was pulling out a nice-sized blue gill. I matched him within the next 5 minutes. We ended up catching a turtle, a bass, and several blue gills in fairly short order. The best excitement was when the turtle ended up eating some of our fish being held captive on our stringer. We ended up throwing the still living fish back in the water because of our outrage at what this turtle had done.
Oh, and we also talked about Popaw Collins and his fishing experiences, and how my dad, when I was little, would get a fish on his line and then hand me the pole to reel it in.
He also said “Jerk now. You’re going to lose it” a couple of times during the morning. He said that my hook needed to be in the water in order to catch one. (OK, so it takes me awhile to bait and cast.) We talked about my kids, my mom, how lucky we were. The two of us stood there with our feet planted firmly on the bank, with nothing on our to-do list but just be.
When we walked back to the truck, I told Dad that I fished by the moon so I knew the fish would bite. (Dad doesn’t share; I simply lie.) He told me he was surprised, and he thought I would be disappointed if I got up there and the fish weren’t biting.
Silly man. He thought I was there to fish.