Monday, May 19, 2008

5 kids, 24 hours.

So, I didn't go do the state time trial this weekend, opting instead to take my two boys, their two friends and my 6-year-old niece to a renaissance fair and then camping. I know, I know... your first thought is wouldn't pedaling as hard as you can for an hour in the wind up and down Norfolk's hills been easier?

Perhaps, but not near as entertaining or rejuvenating. I find when I'm feeling a little weary, nothing is quite as good a pick-me-up as getting a young person's view of the world. Case in point...

It turns out my niece, who has more pink than anyone I know and is a walking, talking embodiment of "girly," LOVES to fish.

"This is a full-size rod, let me help you with the cast."

"I know how to do this, Aunt Sydney," as she snatches the rod away, listens briefly to the instructions, and makes a perfect cast.

She did admit later, however, that in addition to catching fish, she sometimes catches people standing nearby. We all gave her a little extra clearance from then on, but she did great and caught two fish. One was too small to the keep, the next, too alive, I guess.

We were nearing the time to go and she still hadn't caught one. All the while, my youngest, Kyle, and his friend Andrew were catching something every 5 minutes. Disgusted, Anya vowed not to leave the lake until she caught one. At about 7 minutes to battle time (where I convince her to go despite her not meeting her goal) Fortune smiled upon us and she got one - a large, beautiful bluegill. She was thrilled and was carrying it and her pole back to the tent and talking about showing it to her mom.

Then I told her the boys were cleaning their fish at the lake and would help her. All the sudden she stopped and looked at that fish, a terrible sad expression took over her face and she said, "It's so sad to kill such a nice thing."

"Throw it back and let it get bigger and have babies, then you can catch it again sometime," I answered.

Her smile returned and we removed the hook, tossed the fish back in the water and returned to the campsite. I have to admit I was relieved. I'm a good one for doing what needs to be done, but when it comes to cleaning the catch, it's not my favorite thing.

The boys also had a good time. Erik and his friend Eric, climbed trees, made a fire and hunted frogs. Kyle and his buddy, Andrew, did a lot of fishing and all the boys played "hide and go shank," a game all about sneaking up behind each other in the dark and pretending to slice the throat. Boys. What are you going to do?

They all wanted to stay a longer and do it again, so we will, but next time, I'm bringing all three of my poles. I almost lost my serene attitude during the pole shortage bickerfest.


oldmanandhisbike said...

More power to you for making the choice. I cherish the times I spent hiking in the woods with all of my kids, camping or fishing with my sons more than any time on the bike.
We can always ride, but we can't get these moments back.

the mostly reverend said...

echo that. it's difficult not training and racing this season--thus far--but it has been greatly rewarding riding with the grandkids, and working with the kollective, and doing the radio show, making cycling--and life--more enjoyable for other folks.

and thanks for sharing your experiences with me, and the folks who enjoy my radio show, and your contributions to it, syd.

Dad said...

Good job momma...but I thought cleaning the catch was woman's work... ;-)

bluecolnago said...

good for you, sydney! sounds like you had a great weekend! i consider myself lucky to still be pretty active and able to do "fun" (as well as competitive) things with my 3 grown sons and 3 grandsons, and of course my sweet little grandaughter. oh yeah, she's a very "pink" little tomboy. keep it up, syd! :)

Chris said...

Family always comes first Syd. Cute fish :)

Mark Anthony said...

Sydney, thanks for taking Anya and the guys camping/fishing this weekend. Anya had a wonderful time. I don't quite know where she caught the fishing bug, but it's not a bad way to spend time with kids.