Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On the line

The first Monday in August is a statutory holiday here in Ontario—The August Long Weekend. There’s a lot of pressure to make unforgettable long weekend plans. While we had intended to go camping with the tent trailer for three nights, we chickened out on account of unpredictable weather, and unpredictable Jake. He is two, after all.

Instead, we traveled locally to Andrew’s sister’s in-law’s cottage. Beautiful place. My sister-in-law, Elizabeth, is an amazing woman. An inspiration. She grew up playing hockey with some of Canada’s best women players. She is incredibly resourceful and able to do anything. She has has canoed some of Canada’s roughest waters and hiked some of our roughest terrain. Yet she is nurturing and fair, thoughtful and generous. Andrew and I have always said, if we ever had a daughter, we would want her to be just like Elizabeth.

Yesterday Elizabeth bought some junior fishing rods for the kids. She and Greg have three girls—ages four, two and nine-months. They are busy parents. But as I said, resourceful and thoughtful, and always prepared to engage the kids with a unique and entertaining activity.

After some tedious assembly, detailed instruction, and determined practice, Liz took the two oldest kids out to fish. This was Quinn’s first time fishing. Given the heat and the crazy, knot-prone lines, nobody was expecting anything to be caught.

After a little while out on the lake with no results, they returned close to shore, lingering among some lilypads, hoping for that magical moment when you feel a gentle tug on your line. Within minutes Liz yelled “We have a fish!” We squinted out to see it was our Quinn dangling a nice fish from his line. Looked like a Small Mouthed Bass, maybe about 2 pounds. He was beaming with pride. Not two minutes later, Liz yelled again “We have another one!”, and it was her daughter this time, struggling to keep the fish out of water for all to see. We were all cheering with excitement, pride and a good amount of disbelief. It was incredible for the kids.

Last night, while laying in bed, Quinn and I shared a sweet conversation about the experience:

Quinn: “Were you proud of me for catching that fish?”
Me: “Absolutely. And so excited!”
Quinn: “Why didn’t we keep it to eat?”
Me: “Because he was too small. By the time we cleaned it, there wouldn’t have been much meat left.”
Quinn: “There’s nothing like eating fresh fish that you just caught yourself... It’s like there’s victory inside!”


  1. First time here... Going to Twitter to look you up!

  2. I love the name Quinn. I had a roommate in college with that name but had never met anyone else who had it.

    Found your site from dooce - just wanted to say hi.

  3. You son sounds like a sweetheart! :) Sounds like you had a wonderfuly time.