Below is a guest post from Kevin Barry, a father, blogger, and lover of beer and BBQ! Check it out and be sure to follow and like him on all his social media outlets!
Hello everyone! My name is Kevin Barry. I am a married father of a two daughters. I work as a High School Teacher in Maryland and I started a new blog about a month ago with my brother and a few friends called Babies, Beer, and BBQ: A Blog for Dads. Find us at B4QBlog.com
My oldest daughter is almost three years old and has reached the age that I can start teaching her some major life lessons and passed down to me from my parents. I decided it was time for my daughter to receive her first fishing pole. Going fishing was one of my favorite pastimes from my childhood. I can vividly picture going fishing with my parents during the summer and I want to start to recreating some of those moments with my her.
When my daughter was handed her pole and tackle box you would have thought it was Christmas morning. She quickly ran to put on her shoes and declared she wanted to go outside and practice. I attached a bobber and added a little weight and we worked on casting and pretended we were reeling in a big one. If it was not time to eat dinner, she would have stayed outside for another thirty minutes.
I knew my family vacation would put us in locations that would allow for me to take her fishing. As we traveled north into Pennsylvania, I began to get excited about taking her out to the fishing pond at the campground we were going to be staying at. I would have my camera ready to snap a photo and take video of her first time reeling in a fish. Visions of my childhood flashed in my mind of all the big fishes that I had caught (many of which are much larger in size today than they were back then). I had a feeling that our first trip was going to be a success.
When it was time, we walked over to the pond and before she dropped her first line, I helped her check the bobber and we baited the hook. As this happened, I had a feeling of pure joy that I am sure many parents have when they see their children enjoying one of their favorites hobbies or activities. For a good fifteen minutes she would cast and reel in her line, resulting in just a nibble or two by a lone fish. She was excited regardless and smiling ear to ear, but then the attention span of a two year old started to waiver, and I knew it was time to go. We packed up our gear and walked to our cabin and I would be lying if I said I was not a little disappointed she did not catch a fish.
Flash forward about five days and I decided it was time go to the reservoir near her grandparents house and try fishing again. This time I wanted dig up for some fresh worms as I did as a child because in my mind this would guarantee the same success that I once had. It ended up taking me about 20 minutes or so to find two worms, but now we were set to bait the hook and she would cast her line. As we left, my wife said “you know it will have taken you longer to find the worms than she will last fishing” but I just brushed this comment off because I knew it was going to be worth it when the first fish was caught.
Without sounding repetitive the events of our first time fishing happened again. We did not catch anything other than some “rock” fishes as I called them, which snagged both worms and a hook in about eight minutes and grandpa found a crawfish that scared her half to death. The big difference this time was I was not disappointed at the lack of fish that were caught, because I knew she had fun. Every time a rock caught her line the bobber sank quickly and she screamed “LOOK THE BOBBER ITS UNDERWATER I THINK WE HAVE A FISH!!!" and during those moments I knew that I have a fishing companion for life (or at least until she is a teenager and it is not “cool” to be seen with her father).
I think we all search for experiences to share with our children that will allow us to teach them the lessons that we were taught when we were kids. When my wife and I decided to start having children, we envisioned having boys. I would teach them how to throw a baseball, the finer points of BBQ, change the oil on the car, and the list goes on. But now, I have two daughters and even though they may not be interested in all of the things I had hoped to teach them, I am just as excited with the opportunity of teaching two pony tailed little girls how to bait a hook and all of the things I would have taught two little boys.
What life lessons are you excited to your children? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Please stop by my blog and give it a read: B4QBlog.com. Follow me on twitter @babiesbeerbbq and Facebook at Babies, Beer, BBQ.