It takes work to be a proud grandfather. And a little bit of forbearance. What you do for one, you must do for another. If one child wants to fish, you take on a crew. What gets downright chaotic is when all six want to fish and there are only three poles.
“Let’s take turns,” you recommend, before hearing a chorus of “me first.”
Mazie had that look of impetuosity like she was on a mission. For someone her age, she’s grown up in an arena of tomboys, hitting the same balls her brothers wallop and kayaking with the same oars. What they do always seems to be the ultimate way.
“Papa, do you think I’ll catch a fish?” she cooed.
“Only time will tell,” I answered with a silent prayer. “Maybe you’ll get lucky.”
Down went the anchor and out went the lines, bobbers and all.
“See that red and white ball? If that sinks, it means you’ve got a fish,” I explained.
As time passed, so did our conversation. We talked about school and her upcoming dance classes. We spoke about the playground we had visited the day before and the trip to the arcade. We chatted about her swimming lessons and the upcoming trip to Disneyworld to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. It will be done family-style.
Then, as fate would have it, one bobber submerged, then the other. A double hit!
“Grab one. I’ll take the other,” I barked.
I reeled in a sunfish so small it barely fit in the palm of my hand. Meanwhile, there was Mazie, negotiating her fish.
Out of the water it broke, like a marlin in its final gasp, and again, a second time.
“Hang in there Mazie. It’s your fish.”
“Take the rod, Papa. I’m afraid.”