We took the boys fishing for the very first time on Sunday. Before heading out, we stopped at a local sports equipment store to buy them their own poles; that alone was a thrilling experience for them. Even if they did think that the purpose of the poles was to sword fight... They also enjoyed exploring the tent displays and gazing nervously at the walls covered in deer and bear heads. I did not tell them they were real. I think it might have ruined it for them.
Once we were on our way, we realized we hadn't ever really decided where we were going. My husband and I have a knack for doing things on the fly without really planning them. So, we headed out down the road, sort of knowing what we were looking for, fishing regulation book in hand. We'll just stop at the first lake we find.
Which we did. A tiny lake that wasn't even on my county map. My husband rented a boat and we loaded up our stuff. I was a little concerned about our older son, who is a little bit afraid of water, but after my initial explanation that the dock was not going to fall in the water, he seemed to be ok.
When we got out on the water, the boys just absolutely came alive. They loved watching their dad row the boat out in to the middle of the lake, and they got a kick out of all the other people in their boats floating past us. It was kind of humorous, though, how easily we created our own large spot on the lake...everyone quickly moved away from the boat full of rowdy toddlers yelling, "HELLO! DID YOU CATCH A FISH? IS THAT YOUR BOAT?" etc.
We finally got the boys settled down enough to ask them to hold still while we set up their poles. Ok...while Dad set up the poles. Because even though I've fished for my whole life, I'm still pretty clueless about the whole process. Everything was fine and dandy... until.
Until it was time for the worm. Which was the single task I was assigned. I pulled a worm out of the container, which elicited excited squeals from both boys. "Oh, worms!" from the older son, and "'Nake! 'Nake! Ssss!" from the younger one.
Then I put it on the hook.
And suddenly I was the world's worst Mommy.
My older son took it ok. He just worriedly asked if I hurt the worm. I told him no, the worm wanted to help us catch a fish. (I'm totally not against lying to my children to protect their feelings. Don't judge.)
My younger son absolutely broke down. He laid in the bottom of the boat with his hands over his head weeping and screaming, "Mommy! 'Nake DIED! 'Nake died in the water!"
Right then, I wanted to die in the water. I never knew my boys had hearts quite so tender. I should have guessed; they do like worms a lot. I should have known this would be traumatic to them. But I never guessed. And I felt so horrible.
Eventually we got Jacob calmed down and everyone enjoyed the rest of the excursion. But he still whimpered a little every time we cast his line in to the lake. And, by no means a surprise considering our boisterous boys, we didn't catch any fish. (We're blaming it on the lake. Better one next time).