Mama Catches Happiness
After I caught this crappie at Truman Lake, my husband told my kids, “Now Mama is happy.”
I made them take my picture. I was proud of my catch and I wanted my kids to see my pride.
Heavy storms with lots of thunder and lightening blew through two of the three nights we were at the lake. The storm fronts seemed to have scared off the fish because we only caught about 15 fish the entire trip. My contributions to the fishing came in the form of this and one other fish caught, keeping the boys from falling in the water, and having minnows ready to bait my daughter’s hook. I just happened to catch this guy during one of the quieter moments of our excursion. I fished with my youngest son on my lap so he could “catch” one too, but he couldn’t stand the wait so we never snagged one for him.
Fishing with my kids is stressful and scary for me. I am afraid of water.
Water has frightened me since I was a teenager. As a camp counselor, I had to rescue two girls after they tipped over their canoe in a deep and restricted part of the camp lake. A year later I had to provide first aid to a man who sustained a head injury at a local water slide when he flipped off the mat (on which he was supposed to remain seated). People who are not afraid of water get hurt. I am afraid of water.
On our fishing trip, safety precautions were my number one concern. Appropriately fitting life jackets, secured seats, swimming lesson reminders, and safety whistles were all in place. The waters were calm and my always zen husband sat confidently as he drove the boat. I clutched my youngest son for dear life.
It wasn’t until we started fishing and my children showed me that they were safe and happy (at the same time) that I too could really enjoy the excursion. Taking in the beauty of the lake and the memories my kids were making helped me sail past my reservations and buoyed me beyond the dark fears that would pop up in my mind. This vacation was definitely one of my face-offs for the July Intentergy Challenge. I had to burst my terrified bubble and make this vacation a positive one for my family.
Setting sail in that boat and reeling in that nice, little crappie were just the start of me catching happiness on the lake. I watched as my boys made brave discoveries and asked the craziest questions about the fish and minnows. My daughter took such pride in her fishing strategies and “driving” the boat (while sitting on my husband’s lap). She was the one responsible for picking all our fishing spots, and she was as excited as anyone when a fish was caught, because she KNEW that she chose a great spot for us. My husband shared stories about fishing and traveling with his family when he was a boy, and I even told a few fish tales of my own.
As we took off from the marina each morning and headed back in each evening, I said a prayer of thanksgiving that my family could have those opportunities. Taking in the sun and breezes I breathed in natural joy and reeling in those fish and memories caused us all to bask in the fun and love of being together.
I am still afraid of water, but I am a much happier mama because I was able to capture that experience with my family.
By: Melanie A. Peters