This past weekend, the family and I went to the local Fishing Derby. The Water Works park here in town puts it on, stocking ponds with over 10k bullhead catfish. Of those 10k cats, 2k have a tag on them that afford your kid a chance to enter "the prize tent".
This was my first fishing expedition with the boy. Of course, there’s a mystique about that first fishin’ trip between a boy and his daddy. This trip was a little more hectic, a little less outdoorsy considering this park is in town, and it was very crowded since about 20k people lined the shores of these ponds. But there was still something magical about the day that brought yet another moment of clarity into laser sharp focus.
The raw excitement and wonder in my boy’s eyes when that first fish came out of the water was seared into my heart. Our walk over to the prize tent with his eyes as big as the pond and his step so springy, he almost floated there…will temper my frustration when he misbehaves for a long…long time.
The local BassMasters pro fishermen stopped him and congratulated him on his "record catch" about 10 times on the way to the prize tent. He looked them right in the eye and said, "yeah that’s my fish and I caught it", and that was priceless. I was so proud to hold his hand and call him my boy.
I guess the secret to enjoying parenthood, loving your family, and building an incredible bond with your kids is taking the time to appreciate them. Stop and smell the flowers with them. Absorb that you are their guiding light…their compass. Keep correcting their course and letting them shine and things will be just fine.