J is for Jacobson Park

J is for Jacobson Park

Over the years I’ve done a lot of things at Jacobson Park: walked, picnicked, fed the ducks, played soccer, watched movies, but this week I did something I’d never done before. I fished.

Well, I didn’t actually fish because I don’t have a license, but my boy fished, and I’ve rarely seen him so happy. His Cub Scout den met for pizza then spent a blissfully frenzied two hours baiting and casting and learning fishing basics from three very patient Cub Scout Dads. Bless their hearts.

Really, though, the boys were very good. They listened well and closely observed what the leaders said and did. My son had done a bit of casting before but never any baiting (live worms!) and never any removing the fish from the hook. He was skeptical about baiting the hook and decided it was easier to do with meal worms than earth worms. Turns out that’s better for bluegill anyway. Who knew?? He also warmed up quickly to removing the fish from the hook and even helped other Scouts who were a bit squeamish about it.

That’s my boy. He’s a helper. And a fisherman!

Fishing used to be a family tradition for us. My dad fished A LOT. He and my mom would take the boat out and my dad would fish while my mom would slather herself in baby oil to bake her skin under the water-reflected sun.

My dad’s parents used to fish a lot too. They’d take their boat out to Greenbo or Grayson Lake and come home with tons of fish. I don’t remember ever going out with them on the lake, but my mouth still waters for my Mama Roberts’ fried bluegill and crappie. Mmm-mmmm.

I get nostalgic wishing my son could’ve learned to fish from some of the men in my family, but they are all gone now. Well, except my brother, who does fish, but he’s about 2,500 miles away. Also, he’s too busy breaking his shoulder in a middle-aged snowboarding accident. (He’s OK).

At that moment, though, standing far enough behind my son to not hover but close enough to see the wind blowing through his long hair and the smile on his face, it was perfect enough just to be there, sun on my face, and bask in his enjoyment at learning to fish from Cub Scout Dads who obviously loved sharing their knowledge.

There was no place on Earth I’d rather have been.

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