"Mom, Mom, we're going fishing!"
"Great, are you and Daddy going to have a father and son day fishing on the lake?"
"No, you get to go too, and you and me will share a fishing pole, and we're getting a motor boat! Are you willing to cook the fish for dinner?"
"Sure, no problem," I said, scheming my way to the fish market. No worries, quick, easy, no problem.
Shaun, was not happy, such schemes are not in his repertoire and I'm sure he finds me derelict in my parenting duties by even considering such things. There was sighing and eyes were rolling. He was in favor of the catch and release program, while Nate was planning a full on fish fry. I quietly questioned whether this was all really a necessary conversation because wasn't it highly unlikely any fish would be in our custody anyway? More eye rolling. My lackadaisical way of going about certain things annoys him; I think because he figures he'll have to pay the price for it later. So not true, well usually not, but who's counting anyway?
The closest thing either of us has come to cleaning a fish was the hack job that Grayson and he committed against a trout with a dull ax on the shore of Mammoth Lake a decade ago. It didn't end well, and we didn't have fish for dinner that night.
I decided to give it one last shot with Nate in an attempt to appease Shaun. "So Nate, we're trying to figure out a plan with the fish we might catch. We have a couple of choices. We could catch them and then release them so they can live the rest of their lives swimming happily in the lake, (I almost made a fish mommy and daddy reference, but restrained myself) or we can catch them and do our best to clean and cook them, but I've never done it before so it may not go too well."
No hesitation from the little fisherman whatsoever, "We'll kill them and eat them for dinner." Period, end of story. I liked his decisiveness and while I wasn't surprised, it still seemed slightly out of character since he likes to discuss things at length and also tends to be quite sensitive. Just this past spring we harvested the compost from our worm bin and the task was made even more tedious by Nate's need to console each and every worm he came in contact with. Thankfully, Scooby Doo is always on the ready to save me from a difficult situation.
We gathered our supplies and made our way to the lake. We decided to take Cooper too, so I was given a reprieve from the full on fishing experience.
And so they were off.
And we were off too, it was nearly noon and hot.
The lake was beautiful as ever.
We chose a new path and made our way around.
We found the boys on the other side--fishless, thank goodness I wouldn't be learning to gut a fish on this particular day.
Finally, we found some shade.
Another first done and gone.