Every Day is Mother’s Day

I can’t imagine a more apropos way to spend time this weekend than watching my oldest child fulfill a wish he has had for a while.  He got to fish in his very first fishing tournament with his Papa.  He’s been fishing for just about as long as he’s been walking, and is finally old enough to enter children’s tournaments.

IMG_2086I was so anxious and excited while waiting for him and his Papa to return to the dock for the weigh-in.  As I saw their boat pull up, I quickly made my way to them with my camera ready.  I was trying to gauge the expression on my dad’s face to see if the caught anything.  My son is quite lucky that his Papa happens to be a retired professional fisherman who is extremely well-known in our area.  My son is also quite fortunate that his Papa lives on the lake, and absolutely loves fishing with his grandson.

IMG_2103I also remember my son’s birth mother asking if we would teach him to fish.  She didn’t know that my dad is an expert on the lake, but I assured her that our son would learn how to fish.  As they docked the boat, I learned that my son only caught one fish – a nice sized Crappie.  Even though it would not win him any money or a trophy, the smile on his face from catching a fish in a tournament and the experience of the day is far more valuable.

IMG_2129Since it was a kid’s fishing tournament, they let the children weigh any type of fish in.  Here is my son telling the emcee of the tournament what he caught the Crappie on. (In case you are wondering, he caught it with a spoon.  For those of you who do not fish, a spoon is a lure, not something you eat with!)  He also told the emcee about his Papa.  The emcee and organizers of the tournament happen to know who his Papa is, but my son told them anyway.

IMG_2142The only prize he won was a give-away of cleaning supplies, and three small bags of baits.  He thought that was pretty awesome.  My daughter, and the baby also seemed to enjoy watching their older brother take part in the adventure of the day.  I even let my daughter dip her toes in the cold lake!IMG_2085photo (62)

You might wonder what this has to do with Mother’s Day.  Well, as I am still trying to figure out this complex thing called parenting, I learn day-by-day that every day is Mother’s Day.  Every moment is one more moment of seeing life through the eyes of my children.  Each joy they get from the simplest things lights my heart up just a bit.  Each accomplishment, each wish come true, and even each disappointment reinforces to me that it is so important to allow my children to learn through life experiences.

There is not one day as a mother that is no less or no important than the next.  Each day is an opportunity to appreciate my children and the gifts that they are.  Each day grants me the wisdom to learn from the mistakes I have made.  I also believe each day allows a window into how my mother felt raising me.

Yes, I believe every day is Mother’s Day.  

It would be completely remiss of me this Mother’s Day weekend to not mention the fact that my children were adopted out of foster care.  Most readers of this blog know this, but it’s a fact that shouldn’t be forgotten.  I know the circumstances of their birth parents, and it doesn’t fall too far from my thoughts about the kind of lives they potentially would’ve had if not protected by a child welfare system.  

In honor of my children, I encourage all of you to consider what you can do to help a foster child in the community you live in.  You can make a difference.  The simplest acts of kindness do not go forgotten.  Be bold, be kind, and be a hero to a child in foster care!

Favorite Fishing Buddy

IMG_2016

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” —John Buchan

My dad fished professionally for many years, and earned sponsors and endorsements from boat and bait/tackle companies.  He was featured in magazine articles, and won many notable tournaments throughout his career.  As a matter of fact, when I tell people around here who my dad is, most (if into fishing) “ooh” and “ah” over my dad’s knowledge of the lakes and his seemingly instinctual ability to catch fish.

Before the adoption of our son, we took him to the lake often to visit his “Papa” and play around on the water.  Once our adoption was finalized, and my son had the ability to hold a fishing pole, my dad headed out on the water with him and started teaching him all that he knew.  He is now 6-years-old, and has been fishing pretty regularly since the age of 2 years.  He can name virtually every type of freshwater fish.  He can top-water fish, use a variety of baits and tackle, and even use a bait-caster.  I think he would fish just about every day if we let him.

During visits with my son’s biological mother while we were fostering him, she often asked me if someone would take him fishing.  She wanted her son to have the opportunity to learn how to fish.  I’m not sure if this is something she enjoyed as a child, but it seemed pretty important to her for him to be a boy who fished.

She was quite excited to hear that my dad past-time is fishing, and that her son would learn to fish from one of the best around this area.  When I get images like the one above from my dad while on the lake with my son, I can’t help but think of his birth mother, and how often she talked about taking him fishing.

My dad may have won tournaments, earned money, and made a name for himself through fishing, but the joy on my son’s face and the time spent with his favorite fishing buddy is by far the greatest award he has ever received.