Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Son, the Fisherman

When I told the story about the first time my son went fishing I expected it to go something like this:

My husband and son, 9 years old, left the house at 5 am with their packed lunches. They had a great time together out on the lake and came home with a tiny little prize. We took lots of pictures with my boy and his fish.

But that's not what happened. First of all my son is 21 months old. Too little to hold a fishing pole much less sit quietly for hours catching fish. And the fishing happened in my mother's suburban backyard.

This weekend was Father's Day and we attended the annual BBQ at my mother's house. My mother has a little koi pond in the backyard, she has had it for years and the children have learned how to behave around it since we visit so frequently. She also has a catfish and slugs in the pond in the interest of ecological balance.

A croquet set was available to entertain the mostly adult crowd. But while the adults were chatting my kids decided to play with the set. They lined up the balls and mallets and made all sorts of creative designs. They threw the balls on the grass and rolled them into each other. They had a great time.

But then my son threw the black ball into the pond. The last 2 visits he has begun to throw small things into the pond; leaves and sticks mostly. Each time he is appropriately punished for a 21 month old. But I think the temptation is just too great. This time was no different. An adult retrieved the ball from the bottom of the pond and he was sat down alone for a few minutes to 'think about what he did'.

Later that day the catfish started to try to jump out of the pond! The guests ignored his behavior thinking it was just a lot of splashing. But a few hours later the catfish was discovered laying on the grass - not in the pond. He was still breathing so they put him back into the pond. The following morning he was belly-up. A nice funeral was held including a trash bag and trash can. He now resides at the local landfill. Donations are being accepted in the catfishes memory and will be put to educating my son in a profession other than fishing.

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