Sunday, June 28, 2009

Its Not About The Fish

There are two children I know who would dearly love to go fishing with their dad. I know of their dad only by reputation but I find myself thinking of him from time to time. I hope he comes to understand that going fishing would not be about catching would be about spending time, away from the TV, with his children.

I don't mean to hold myself up as a great example of fatherhood in action as lately I have fallen short of the mark. However, I know my kids have their own unique needs for particular types of attention. For an example, what would work for Aidan my not work for Fiona or Oliver. With this in mind, I strive to engage my kids on terms that would enrich all of our lives. In this I fail almost as often as I succeed but I think the effort is almost as important as the results.

There is a lovely little pond near our home. Surrounded by parkland and modest homes, this pond is stocked with rainbow trout and is a favorite destination for casual anglers and afternoon fisherman. This pond, I have found, is my Aidan's favorite thing about where we live. He and I went fishing one afternoon last week. For almost two hours we stood on the bridge that transverses the pond and cast our lines. During that time we talked about school, baseball, fish, and cars. While we had a few nibbles we did not catch any fish. To my surprise, Aidan was not at all disappointed. He told me that going to the pond was not about the fish. My Aidan told me that he likes that we have a place to hang out and talk, that it was a chance for him to practice casting, and that he enjoyed being with me.

Lately, parenting has felt like work. I am coach, psychologist, playmate, cook, maid, ATM machine, mother, and father to my kids. With summer time here and the pace of life slowed, I hope I can better listen to my kids when that tell me that its not about the fish, that is about the time we have together.

1 comment:

  1. I find myself always worried about how I am spending quality time with both of my son especially since he is step and I try not to give my daughter more attention! ugh, sometimes I wonder what I was thinking having kids....but I wouldn't change it for the world!