Today is Father’s Day. When I sat down to work on this week’s article, I took a quick glance through some of my old files and found this article that I wrote many years ago on Father’s Day. In it I refer to my middle child being two and he is about to turn eighteen this summer so it was written a long time ago. Child number three isn’t even born yet. I think it does a good job of reflecting on the true meaning of what Father’s Day is all about so I thought I would share it with you again this week. It sure brought back a lot of memories for me. I hope you enjoy it:
As I am typing this article, the closing hours of another Father’s Day is coming to end. It ended up being a rare nice spring day and I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy the weather. My boys surprised me with a new fishing reel for my Father’s Day gift. It is always good to get gifts that help you enjoy your hobbies and I have a wonderful wife that supports the things I like to do. No boring ties and socks for this guy! More importantly though, we spent the day together as a family.
The highlight of the afternoon was doing something we all enjoy and that is fishing out down at our pond. My wife and I rigged up the boy’s fishing poles for bluegill and we had a blast watching them battle fish after fish. We were kept busy putting worms on the hooks, taking the fish off, and untangling snarls in the line. We had as much fun as they did and several pictures were taken to help remember this special day forever. Zane, our two year old, was especially proud of catching the largest one.
I enjoy sharing the outdoors with my sons, whether it be catching fish in the pond, taking them on their first hunting trip, or having them help me train the dogs. They are of the age where they are full of questions and aren’t quite ready to comprehend it all. I look forward to the day where they are old enough to share some serious moments fishing for bass and harvesting their first birds, but I enjoy this age as well. The world is full of questions and I don’t mind supplying them with some of the answers.
I had a quiet moment this evening to reflect on the day and how much fun we had and it made me think of my own father. As many of you know, we lost him to cancer too early in life and he has been gone for many years. My father wasn’t too much of an outdoorsman. There really wasn’t leisure time for things like that back then and his commitments to Northmor High School, the farm, and his seven kids took up most of his time. He would go on a few of the family rabbit hunts and do some fishing now and then, but it was my older brother Den who sparked most of my love for hunting and fishing.
But, my father understood the joy I had in being outdoors and would do things to help cultivate my passion. Some of my fondest memories of being with him as a youngster is when he would row the old v bottom boat around the lily pads at Wamplers Lake while I would stand in the front casting surface lures for bass. Just him and me. He didn’t even bother to take a fishing pole. He preferred to act as my trolling motor and watch me catch the fish, encouraging me all the way. That was the kind of Dad he was. Those are some of my favorite memories of all the years I have traveled to the family’s cottage in Michigan. The sound of the oars and the action of my lure during the calmness of dusk is forever etched in mind and it was sweeter because my Dad was with me.
As I have told you many times before, there is no better way to spend quality family time then doing it outdoors. Whether it be fishing or hunting, there isn’t a better way to get to know some one then to spend a day in a boat, a walk in the field, or an evening on a bank wetting a line. One of the reasons why I enjoy my outdoor hobbies so much is because it is done with family. Many hours of my life has been spent sharing a duck blind or fishing boat with one of my brothers and it is a big part as to why we are all so close as a family.
I hope that you were able to spend some time with your kids or your Dad outside this Father’s Day. If you weren’t, why not make a commitment to have your own special Father’s Day later this summer and take your Dad fishing. If fishing isn’t your thing, then go camping or make a family hunting date for the fall. I promise you, you won’t regret it and you will remember the day forever. As time passes you will forget if there were any fish caught or how much game was harvested but you will always remember the time you spent with Dad enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer.
I hope you had as wonderful of a Father’s Day as I did and until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!
Ken Parrott is an Agricultural Science teacher with Northmor High School.