Although it divides the family, I enjoy spending one-on-one time with my sons.
Last Saturday happened to be one of those days. With Pam taking Carson to a birthday party in Ocean City, Beckett and I spent most of the day together. After swimming in the pool and playing soccer, we ventured to the block party in Berlin.
We basically ate our way through town. Since I figured it was a special occasion, although it wasn’t really, we had Island Creamery before our lunch. I had some fish tacos from a food truck, while Beckett opted for French fries with an enormous amount of vinegar. Nutrition was definitely not a priority on this particular afternoon.
Later in the day I took Beckett fishing for the first time. We hooked up with Ocean City Guide Service for a two-hour charter out of West Ocean City.
Ever since he got a fishing rod and tackle box for Christmas, Beckett has been eager to get out on the water and fish. I told him once school was done for the year we would do it. The weather finally cooperated, and we were able to get out together last Saturday.
Pam and I debated on whether she and Carson would come along, settling eventually on Beckett and I having some time together. It was the right call.
Ahead of the trip, I was worried Beckett would get shutout on his first fishing trip. I figured if he didn’t get any bites that might be it for fishing as far as he was concerned. As I was explaining why it’s called fishing and not catching, I could see his eyes glaze over a bit, confirming what I thought. We needed to catch at least one fish of any kind and any size.
Within minutes of dropping our lines, I had a bite. I think I got excited because I forgot to hand my rod over to Beckett to let him reel it in. It wasn’t a keeper but the skunk was off the boat.
A bit later, the captain hooked a flounder and handed the rod over to Beckett to let him reel it in. He did so and my boy had caught his first fish at 10 years old. It wasn’t a keeper but it didn’t really matter. After way too many photos of such a small fish, he was back at it again.
It wasn’t too long before he hooked his own fish and reeled it in. It was another short flounder, but it didn’t matter to him.
All told on our trip we boated four small flounder on a two-hour excursion. As we were getting off the boat, I settled up with the captain. I didn’t think Beckett overheard our conversation, but he did evidently.
As we were walking to the truck, he put his arm around my waist and thanked me, saying something along the lines of he couldn’t believe I spent that much money to take him fishing. It’s not about the money, it’s about having fun and making memories, I told him. He squeezed my waist harder and then quickly let go when a group began approaching.
That’s about as good as life gets for me at this point.
Catching dinner is the only thing that would have been better. Instead we got some grilled fish carryout from a nearby restaurant.
With Beckett down and out with a case of strep throat the day after our fishing adventure, the rest of the family worked around the house.
It never ceases to amaze me how much Carson enjoys that. He’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met and he’s 8 years old. I like to call him the taskmaster for a couple reasons.
One, it keeps him out of trouble and giving him a task to execute and help us with usually reduces any sort of negative behavior from occurring. Secondly, he’s adept at doing most things and is a perfectionist.
For example, in our backyard, we have a sand play area for the kids. Unfortunately, we have to stay on the weeds. Because that’s the last thing I want to do when I’m not working, the weeds had reached a point we had to tackle it. While I was power washing our deck, Pam and Carson hit the weeds. I definitely had the easier job.
At one point, after about an hour, Pam ran into the house to get some drinks. She remarked how she tried to get Carson to come into the house for a break from the heat and to get a drink. He evidently motioned to the play area, informing her he’s not stopping until the entire area is weed free. It was as if he was shocked she would consider taking a break mid-job. After another hour or so, the job was completed, and I found him red-faced and sweaty swinging in his newly pristine play area.
I encouraged him to come in the pool with me. After surveying his work and agreeing it was acceptable, he agreed, and we jumped in together. Instead of relaxing or playing ball with me, he immediately began diving to the bottom to fetch a few leaves that had found their way in the pool. When I tried to help him, he shook me off like he did Pam over the weeding.
I did what I was told. He just wanted me to hold the skimmer basket while he dove repeatedly (at least 25 times) to get about a dozen leaves in the deep end. He’s such a hard worker.