This weekend was the last official weekend of summer, so on Saturday I asked Van what he would like to do as the grand finale. “Bowling.” he says. It was almost like he had the answer ready before I asked the question. Bowling? I think to myself, he has maybe bowled once in his life, where did bowling come from. On the way there, he found his way into my purse and scored some gum. When I gave him the eye for getting the gum without asking, he tells me, “Gum makes me bowl like crazy.”
On Sunday, Van wanted to go fishing. He hasn’t been fishing that much, but he talks about it all the time. Van already has a pole, but I decided to be a sport and get a fishing pole too, and a fishing licence so that I could join him.
The thing that I always forget about fishing is that it is really not my thing. It’s not that I don’t like it, I don’t mind it at all. I just don’t think fishing likes me. When I was a kid, I was swimming and someone cast upon me. I spent hours that day having people attempt to dig the hook out of my head. Because of that event, I have a real fear of fishing hooks, so every time Van cast, or for that matter even swung the pole around at all, I was like “hit the decks!” I don’t think I am being overly dramatic either, I really think that I may have some sort of magnetic field that attracts fishing hooks. Today while stringing the poles, I had hooks get stuck in my hand, in my leg and lastly in my flip flop, to the point that it became unwearable. I had to walk all the way back up the trail (and drive home) with one flip flop on which of course prompts all kinds of commentary when you are holding fishing poles.
In addition to the fear-of-hooks situation, I also had difficulty with the casting. I threaded Van’s pole and handed it to him, within two minutes he was casting like the fishing boy savant. Meanwhile I have a hook stuck in my thumb and when I finally get it loose, I go to cast and the entire reel comes flying off in three pieces and gets thrown out into the lake. When Van asks me, “Was that a fish!?” I had to tell him it was not a fish, but rather that on his mother’s first cast she sent the entire reel into the lake in pieces. How does that even happen with a new fishing rod?
So mostly I just sat on a towel and watched Van cast like an expert and come over every once in a while to switch hooks or bait. It was like he had been fishing for years. Once when he was picking out different bait he said, “I like big bait. It really suits me.” “Sure.” I responded. And on the walk back up the path, he turned to me and said, “I would like it if we could do this every Tuesday.”