Gone Fishing with the Kids
I heard a joke before about kids being asked to draw fish. Some kids drew rectangular pieces of breaded fish as in "fish and chips". The joke is only half-funny when you think about how often we show kids a whole fish on the table. My grandfather is from a fisherman's family, and almost every other meal he'd serve a whole fish, simply fried with some herbs on top. He also told us that once we finish one side of the fish, we were to remove the bones to get to the other side instead of flipping the fish over, as traditionally that reminded fisherman of boats flipping over, a definite taboo on the table.
My husband grew up in the Loire Valley, and he remembers fondly of summer evenings spent by the river fishing zanders, perches, carps, and pikes. Recently, the days have grown longer and warmer, so he's been quietly gathering up his fishing supplies. This evening we had an early dinner (delicious Pacific sand dabs from a local source), and we headed out to the lake to go fishing.
If you think fishing with young kids is a great way to relax by the water, think again. The reality is that while our three year old wrestled with dad to grab the fishing rod, our one year old dashed towards the water every chance she's got. So what did we do? We had to distract them with snacks, and ended up keeping our daughter in the stroller despite her voiced protest echoing through the valley.
Despite the slightly chaotic beginning, we ended up catching three black basses to our surprise. Since the fish were quite small, we released them back into the lake safe and sound, so no fish was harmed in the making of this story. But the kids got to see and touch real, wild fish for the first time in their lives! I hope this instills a sense of respect for the environment in their growing minds. And I hope that when asked to draw a fish, they'd draw a picture of the lively, jumping black bass that we encountered today.
And for Ladies, check out this post for a fishing-chic outfit idea!