One of the greatest grandparent joys comes, not from giving things, but from sharing experiences. Our older son and her wife live in a new development that has a small pond at the edge of the homes. Thus, Grandpa and Little Stuff headed off to Walmart in search of a pink fishin’ pole and a small tackle box. No, a Dora pole or even a Little Princess fishing set would not do for Grandpa. He wanted his granddaughter to have a real pole. And she seemed quite impressed with the chunky night crawlers Grandpa planned to use for bait. I pulled the Jeep up to Walmart’s front door and heard her proudly announce, “We got a fishin’ pole, Grandma. So we headed right for the pond, armed with everything we needed, except sunscreen :>(
Arriving at lunch time, we found an avid fisherman who spends his lunch hour fishing, using crickets for bait. He did warn us that he had recently fed the fish so they might not be very interested in biting our hooks. Undaunted, Little Stuff began to examine the pole and ask “Why?” about a million times! The breeze cem in and gave us some relief, so we settled right on the dock and began to test our expertise as anglers. Bear in mind that Grandpa possesses all the knowledge and handles the night crawlers! Little Stuff likes taking walks around her neighborhood, so she was excited that the man fishing beside us built homes in her neighborhood. Meeting him launched another round of “Why?” questions, but he proved a good sport as he answered her queries. “Come on fishies, take a bite,” she’d say, and expect a fish!
And sure enough, up came the first small blue gill. Not a squeamish little girl, she held the fish with Grandpa’s help so Grandma could capture the catch on camera. She declined the opportunity to touch the fish, but did not understand why Grandpa careful took the hook out of fishie’s mouth and threw it back into the pond. Grandpa cast out again when the local fisherman said the center channel ran about 12 feet in depth and served as home to some 6 and 7-pound bass. Our second catch brought smiles and excitement for Little Stuff and Grandma! Now, whenever Grandpa cast, Little Stuff looked at me and simply said, “Catch one, Grandma. Do it again.” A fisherman’s patience doesn’t run deep at 2 1/2! Nevertheless, we caught a third blue gill despite the fact that we had come to fish at noon, a poor time of day to get fish to bite. Grandpa decided that fish three should provide an “up close and personal” experience for his granddaughter, so he suggested she get a “fishy kiss.”
And, by the way, no fish hooks caught Little Stuff’s forehead. She just enjoys Dora band-aids right now! Oh the fun of the experiences! We don’t live close to our “grands,” so when we get to visit, we try to create some memorable experiences together. These photos will remind us all of our pond trip, and no battery-operated toy can top that!