This blog can be seen from its original post at The Greeley Moms page for the Greeley Tribune.
When I was a kid, I was very outgoing. Very. Outgoing. I used to always be on the go. I loved to be outside, I never liked being stuck in one place for too long and a lot of that adventurous spirit has carried over into adulthood. I often get antsy and don’t like to be stuck in one place for too long – especially if I get bored. So we can just be fair and say that patience has not been one of my strongest attributes.
For a great Father’s Day week, my family and I decided to pack up and go camping. My dad and my stepmom invited us for the trip a few weeks ago, and since I LOVE camping I decided it would be a great way to spend my Father’s Day. Camping is one of my all-time favorite memories with my father. I wanted to begin to create those same memories with my children. And who better to teach them to fish than the master fisherman in my life – my dad, Ray Sr.
My father taught me to tie a knot, set up a fishing hook, line and sinker (which I’ve mostly forgotten)… even to throw the perfect cast. I love everything about that part of fishing except the waiting part. I could never sit still long enough as a kid for the cast to hit the water and I was already bored, so I would sit there and continue casting out my line and returning it immediately just to not get bored until my dad would get mad and tell me to leave it in the water. He would explain to me that the bait has to sit there so the fish can swim by and get it! A concept that, for this 6-year-old boy, was completely foreign. Sit still?
Camping is one of my all-time favorite memories with my father. I wanted to begin to create those same memories with my children.
My 9-year-old daughter is exactly like me in this way… OK, in many ways, but that is a blog for another time. She does not have a ton of patience when it comes to tasks and other things and she can be alittle bit competitive at times. That sense of impatience and competition came out yesterday at the lake when we were fishing.
My son, Elijah, is just the opposite. He is slow to react, contemplates his moves and is vey methodical in everything he does. He is not one for spontaneity. He is patient, he can sit still, and he is always willing to sit somewhere long enough if he is learning.
Well, because of these traits, Elijah caught the first fish.
This didn’t exactly help Emaleigh who was a little perturbed because she didn’t catch a fish immediately following, or before, her brother. In fact, about an hour went by with a lot of “Hmph!” and “This is boring!” and “This is too hard!” going on.
“Sound like someone else you know?” said my dad. “She is just like you were.”
I laughed because we all know it is true. I pulled Emaleigh aside and had a little pow-wow with her. I told her it was OK if she didn’t like fishing because I didn’t much either, but it was no reason to get upset and say it was too hard because it is something that takes patience, perseverance and little bit of ingenuity. You have to be willing to put all three of those things together to be successful.
Another 15 minutes went by, and then something awesome happened.
Emaleigh, after putting her pole down for a little bit and watching them catch a few other fish, got that little glimmer in her eye that her daddy gets when someone tells him he can’t do something. Some would call it a chip on her shoulder; I would call it an inherent trait that will prevent her from quitting before she has had the chance to experience the joy of success that comes with a little patience, perseverance and ingenuity.
Emaleigh picked up her pole, walked about 15 feet away from her grandpa and brother and cast her line. She did it for a few more minutes and wouldn’t you know it… she caught a fish.
We all celebrated with her.
I immediately pulled her aside and personally congratulated her and told her I was so proud of her for not quitting, something that our family does not tolerate. We are committed to having fun, learning and always doing our best.
It was a great moment to be a part of. A small moment in time, that taught my daughter that despite her inherent trait of being somewhat impatient, she can channel that energy into perseverance and put it to work.
I told her all it takes sometimes is some perseverance and casting your line out where no one else is.
If there is an area in your life where you feel you just aren’t good at, you’re not being successful or are just plain frustrated in, have some patience, persevere and get creative with a new way to succeed. You may just be in a season of learning… take the time to take it all in.
Sometimes, all it takes is casting out your line in another part of the lake and the perseverance to keep casting until you catch that fish.
Ray Mondragon is married with three children. He writes occassionally for Greeley Moms.