Oceans for Emotions: Lessons learned in youth still valuable today
Sept. 1, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.
Updated Sept. 3, 2010 at 4:03 a.m.
By Elaine Wheat
"Oh, God, thou hast taught me from my youth and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works."
- Psalms 71:17
Today, after a meeting at school, some of us were still sitting around our table pretending to be discussing educationally-important things. Really, we were just catching our breaths before the next bell rang, and we would have to go do educational things.
One of them looked at me, as if asking for my blessing, and said, "I sure want my boys to learn to fish this summer." The next one said, "Oh, I would love for mine to learn, too." Sitting by her, the school psychologist enlightened us by saying, "My kids would really like to share that fishing with you." The assistant principal pontificated that she had taken her own child fishing and even caught a little fish, but that her daughter was afraid to take it off the hook and so she had to do it for her. I asked her how old her daughter was, and she proudly said, "Seventeen." (One does not laugh at assistant principals.)
As I sat there thinking how lucky I was to be surrounded with these kinds of friends who loved their children and fishing, I noticed that everyone was looking at me expectantly. I asked, "What?" The one closet to me fairly shouted, "Duh, Elaine, we mean we want you to take all of our kids and teach them how to fish." I replied through my surprise, "Oh yeah, sure, fine, good, no problem."
What I really wanted to ask these educators was, "Why don't you take them yourselves and find your own thrill of teaching your own kid to fish?" But that was before I realized that maybe they didn't know how.
My premise was confirmed when one of them said, "If you will bring all the fishing stuff, I'll do all the cooking." I guess the first lesson was pretty basic right then when I explained that when I take big kids, or little kids, fishing, they make their own lunch out of what ever is in the ice chest. If they are too little to do that, they are too little to fish.
As I left that "conference," I felt closer to these friends than I ever had before because, even though I am three times older than some of them, they still needed me.
Dear Lord, thank You for teaching me from my youth and, God, when you see Daddy up there, tell him I said thanks for all the fishing lessons he gave me when I was young.