Some of my favorite memories are hiking through the woods as a kid. My Dad and I would put soil in a bucket, capture a few worms, and take our smallest fishing poles with us. The poles were no more than a couple of feet long, but they were perfect for us.
My dad would park the car by the road and we would walk into the woods until we found a creek. “Creek fishin” we called it. We’d find these little “fishing holes” in the creek-side. A fishing hole is any area in the water that’s darker than the rest of the water. That means the water is deeper there (and what the fish like). We’d throw our hooks in the water and in a few seconds we’d have a tiny bass or brim on the end of our hook. If nothing found our bait worth eating, we’d waste no time, reel our hooks in and hike to the next fishing hole.
These are some of the memories I have of childhood. And in spite of all of the shit my Dad and I have been through in the past – these are the memories I try to keep with me. Even when I hate the man and have resigned to forgetting him completely – I beckon back to these memories. Ultimately, I think they are the memories that define my relationship with my Father. In a strange way – even when I choose to ignore it – those are the things he did right. Just a day in the woods fishing with your Dad.
Now that fatherhood is approaching in my own life I have been thinking more and more about those little things that both my parents did right. How those good things ultimately left me with enough confidence and desire to be the man I am today.
It’s almost incredible to me how a day of good can overshadow so much bad. How a little effort and encouragement can be spread so thin and make all the difference in who one becomes as a person. It’s a lesson I hope I can implement as a Father too.
Read Part 2.