Catch of the Day

ME fishing

I pretty much grew up fishing. My few day old photos have me in a playpen on what my grandma affectionately called “the fish crick.” When I got older me and my brother would compete to see who could catch the most night crawlers for the next morning. We had our own strategies for catching fish too. I would look for a shady spot; fish like that. I loved fishing right after a light rain too, seemed they always bite then. I can’t reveal all my secrets, but just know I fished often and I was pretty good at it, rarely left empty handed.

Like most kids, the older I got, the less I hung with grandma. I mean band practice, track, cheerleading etc…left little time for catching my own bait. But recently my 4-year-old has been begging us to take her fishing. I’m guessing her curiosity was sparked by something on television, because we haven’t really discussed fishing as a hobby and she wasn’t letting up.

I’ve been fishing once in the 10 years I have lived in North Carolina so I had to do some homework on finding a location conducive to toddler fishing. My friends recommended River Park North and man am I glad they did. You mean we can visit a mini aquarium, have a picnic, paddle boat, fish and hike at the same spot? Perfect.

Sounded easy, but since we had no fishing gear, no fishing license and no bait, a late night Wal Mart trip was not just part of the outing but necessary. I’m not sure if you all have been to the Wal Mart Sporting and Goods department lately but there’s a lot to pick and choose over. There were several children rods and reels, but her eye was stuck on the pink Barbie fishing rod with a matching gear box and accessories. Okay, so she probably didn’t need her own tackle box, but it did match.

Note to self, next time we will actually open our equipment before our arrival. It’s a good thing my husband has the patience of Job and me and the children were able to go on a hiking trail while he put it all together in the parking lot. When we returned we were ready to fish.

She was so excited and truthfully so was I. Taking her reminded me of all the good times I had growing up fishing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and what a big part of my childhood it was. By now it’s early afternoon. The weather is pleasant, the pier isn’t too crowded and she didn’t even quiver as I baited her hook. I gave her a quick lesson on her reel and showed her how to cast a few times. She jumped at the opportunity to cast herself and she watched her bobber with intensity.

It only took about five minutes for her realize she doesn’t have the patience to wait on the fish and she certainly has no interest in being quiet while fishing. In that same amount of time, my soon to be 2-year-old was amazed at the idea of casting and his Spiderman reel became quite dangerous. If you don’t believe me ask my husband. Apparently he suffered a minor hook in the finger injury and spent a lot of time ducking and dodging our son’s feeble attempt to cast his own line.

While we didn’t catch a single fish that day, I certainly caught the fishing bug and can’t wait until my first kid free fishing trip. Somebody’s got to use all this equipment.

Daddy Son Fishing




Number 71

I was a football cheerleader in high school, and while I can’t remember a single chant I can remember learning the game. Our coach was adamant that we girls know the difference between offense and defense. So, while I never found it that exciting, I definitely know enough to follow. My husband is a die-hard Dallas man and we even took in a game for his birthday a few years ago as they played against Carolina. I grew up a Buffalo fan because that’s what my daddy was. Don’t judge me, just know that I am a real pro at supporting a losing team. So there you have it; that’s the extent of my football talk or so I thought.

A few months ago, my family dynamics changed and through some odd circumstances we became custodians of a 17-year-old young man. Having a teenager in the house has taken some getting used to and did not come without some painful transitions for all involved. But four months in, Morgan calls him her big brother, Baby G can say his name, my husband has help with the yard and I have a new title “A Rampant Mom.”

Our new inhabitant is a rising senior and plays football at J. H. Rose High School and he loves it. The boy, I mean, young man, eats, drinks and sleeps football. And to tell you the truth I was very annoyed at this time consuming new hobby of his. I mean, summer heat meant early morning and late evening practices. And since my teenager doesn’t drive, that means more lugging around than I bargained for and a whole new world I wasn’t quite prepared for.

So here’s what I’ve learned so far, male football coaches are very unorganized, at least off the field and should have an administrative person in charge of scheduling. Half the time, I have no clue when practice will be and after speaking to the coach; neither does he. I’ve also learned that teenage boys, stink. I mean, they really stink. I wonder if the water in the showers runs away? Oh yeah, and they eat; a lot. I don’t even make his plate anymore, I just leave him the pot.

But I’ve learned a few things about myself too. We had the pleasure of joining some of our friends for church on Sunday and had dinner after the service. At the restaurant our friends engaged him in conversation about football. “So, what position you play,” they asked and I responded “Defensive End and Offensive Guard.” What number are you,” they asked next and I responded 71. “When’s your next home game,” they egged and I responded August 17th against Havelock.

And then it hit me, wow I am more than a Rampant mom, I am a proud “mom.” Truth is, I can’t wait to see him play and I can’t wait to cheer for him during the game and I can’t wait to see Morgan and Baby G cheering for him too. So look out stands cause a Chocolate Mother is on loose.