Sunday, August 19, 2007

Drowning Worms

Let me tell you that I have never been one for fishing. I have actually made brutal, relentless fun of fishing. I have scorned it, I would say, as much as I have scorned camping, maybe even as much as I have scorned coasters. But my little boy loves to fish, so I fish with him, because he loves it, and because he says things like, "Patience, Mother, you must have patience to catch a fish." He says this because the very first time we went fishing, out in the Chesapeake, he caught one. I was thinking in those days, those beautiful halcyon days, that just hanging a worm twelve inches down into sixty feet of water wouldn't yield any kind of result. Was I wrong.

So today was another boating day and therefore another fishing day. We purchased our little green styrofoam container of worms. We motored our little boater out onto Broad Bay. We got out our poles, dusted off our optimism, and I installed my "supportive mommy" expression. We skewered our little wormlets, dropped them in, and waited. Nothing. Even though the wretched fish were jumping, actually jumping out of the water all around the boat. Now I don't pretend to be an expert on what lure or what hook or liner or tickler or whatever is needed to pry which breed of fish out of its ocean home. But I do feel that when fish are actually trying to get out of the water, all around me, I should be able to get one on a hook that's loaded with fish lunch.

But no. For an hour, we sat there with these bratty little fish leaping through the air over the boat, waving their little fins, winking their little googly eyes, and tittering amongst themselves.

Until Team Husband got out his casting net, threw it out, and immediately brought in a whole pile of fish. The same little fishes who had been taunting us with vile taunts. So, charmingly, the children got to pet the fish, examine the fish, identify them with their little fish-identifying manual, and release (of course) them back into the bay to torture other boaters.

Okay, the fish we welcomed into the boat were a lot smaller than they had looked when they were frothing and foaming in the waves all around us. But they had markings, and slime, and fins. Which is all we really require. So, we drowned a bunch of worms with no result, but it's nice when Dad gets to be a hero, right? To my girl sensibilities, it actually seems fairly glorious to get the radiant smile without having to deal with the fish hook and worms.

Am I truly a reformed wuss when it comes to stabbing worms? Or am I going to look back on these experiences and say, "I can't believe what I did for this child!" How about you -- worms or no worms?

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