We live in a city, only 10 minutes from the downtown core, and yet two blocks from our house is a huge park that runs along the river. This is one of the many things I love about Ottawa.
Last night, we piled into the car in search of a bait shop as learning how to fish was one of the top three things our kids wrote on their "I have to do this summer or I will die" lists. We got to the bait shop fifteen minutes after it closed.
I turned the car around and headed to Loblaws. Armed with two fishing rods, some hooks and a package of hot dogs, we went to the park where we ate our picnic dinner and Wifey gave her first fishing lesson.
The munchkins had only been fishing once before in their lifetime and that was with their foster family. On this trip, they caught Bubay (their toddler foster brother) twice which quickly ended the adventure before a hook even had grazed the water.
The kids stood out in the river for about an hour learning to cast and while I watched bits of pseudo fish bait, the hot dogs, fly everywhere. Hot dog, it turns out, is quite tricky to hook for adults and kids alike.
Once the dog figured out that the bait was hot dog, he was the only animal in the whole entire river interested in what was on the end of the fishing rod. A few times, he almost forgot his manners, and tried to bite the hot dog right off of the fish hook.
The sun was starting to set. Bella had long ago tangled her line beyond repair and was catching minnows in the shallow weeds, and Bubaloo was hooking his final piece of hot dog. Wifey and I were taking self portraits on the shore and had given the munchkins their five minute pre-departure warning.
Bubaloo threw out his last cast, and moments later yelled to us, "I got a fish."
Thinking he'd caught another bunch of weeds, Wifey and I were slow to react. I then looked at the line and saw it moving in the water. Wifey dashed into the river, Bubaloo reeled the fish in, and they placed it in the net.
There stood my beaming son with his rod in one hand looking into the net at the first fish he'd ever caught. And, are you ready for this? He somehow had managed to catch a foot-long bass.
The whole way home he kept on telling me how proud he was of himself.
The whole way home I thought my heart was going to burst with happiness and joy for him. I was so proud. And, so fiercely protectively proud of him and his fish. This was the first moment of parenting like this for me. The "ah ha" of watching your kids succeed and grow by leaps and bounds in a single moment.