Our first lesson was learning not to stop pedaling! (When he got scared, he'd not only quit pedaling, he'd hold his feet out from the bike! Not good, dude.) The next night, we focused on not looking behind him (to make sure I was still holding the bike) and balancing his weight. After that, it just took lots of practice and being brave. Then, off he went! I am so proud of this little munchkin!
Hubs and I were all smiles at his end-of-the-year program! He even had a LINE! His big moment was approaching the microphone and saying, "R is for reading. We read all day long." We practiced it a lot at home, and he did a good job with his small but pivotal role.
|All smiles after the end-of-the-year program!|
Several weeks ago, Poppy gave Clay a fishing pole. I figured this was the perfect time to take him on his first official fishing trip. I got my fishing license online, thinking we'd just drop a hook into the reservoir, but Chandler, a friend of mine from work, had a better idea. He told me he could take us to a great spot.
We met him at around 8:45 a.m. in Raymond. We stopped by the Shell station to load up on live crickets, then followed his truck to our secret fishing hole. He took us to a private fish camp, and it was super nice. There was a boardwalk out over the lake to a pavilion in the middle. You didn't even have to sit in the sun to fish!
Just to be SURE we caught some fish, Mr. Chandler even threw a little bit of fish food in the water before we started. Then, he showed Clay how to get his rod and reel set up and put the cricket on the end. (Do you think Clay put any crickets on hooks? Do you think he took any fish OFF hooks? On the upside, I got to dust off my rusty fishing skills!)
After Mr. Chandler got us set up, off he went. And, boy, did we catch fish! We kept five of them, three big ones and two little ones that wouldn't have made it. And we threw back a lot of little ones, safe and sound. What fun!
|Call me Ishmael . . .|
When we first put the fish in the cooler, they were still swimming around. By the time we left, they were very still. Clay asked me, "Mama, why aren't the fish swimming anymore?" That gave me the opportunity to talk with him about where our food comes from, and how it has a cost. How every time we eat fish or beef or pork or chicken, something has to die so we can have such a good supper. We had talked about that before, but Clay had never been around for the actual dying part.
"But that makes me sad," said little man.
"Well, do you want to not eat fish?" I asked.
"No," he quickly responded.
I acknowledged that it was a little sad, and that was part of the reason that wasting food was such a bad thing.
Then, Pawpaw helped us clean our fish. We fried them up that night and ate them, and they were delicious!! It made me think of all those summers I spent on my grandparents' farm as a girl, fishing with cane poles and frying up our catch with hushpuppies. The simple coleslaw we used to make just with shredded cabbage, carrots, mayo and s/p. If I can give Clay just a fraction of those memories, I'll feel like our fishing trips are a success!