“Mom, I want to go fishing. It’s free!”
I pick up my son from day camp. It’s 4 PM. It’s 95 degrees. Today they fished at the lake during camp.
He has his pole his Grandpa got him 2 years ago. He’s used it twice. Now he wants to fish more.
I could barely walk down the paved trail to sign him out of camp. My feet are swollen, sore. I am faint from the heat. I hope to make it back to the car.
I joke about that, but sometimes I wonder.
He stops. He sticks his chest out. His lip curls up.
“You aren’t seriously going to have a tantrum over this, are you?” I ask. . . calmly of course. I am not one for unplanned battles.
Walking down a boat landing and onto the dock is non-negotiable. I have no need to feel guilty.
Grandpa wanted to take him fishing two weeks ago when he visited. He said no.
“Mommy just can’t do that, honey.” I say. “I can’t walk down there. Maybe Daddy can bring you on Saturday.”
I turn and walk to the car.
“You’re so mean!” he yells.
Am I bad mother for not having this affect me whatsoever?
I wonder to myself, Would a healthy mother have said yes? Perhaps, yes. I have friends who would. But is this reasonable? No. Fishing in 95 degree weather is not reasonable.
We get in the car. The pole barely fits. It pokes me in the arm from the back seat. I tell him that is dangerous. I change the subject to the plans for the next day at camp.
He tells me he caught a fish. I ask how big and he holds up his hands of 2 feet. A fish story. He’s learned early.
I look in my rear view mirror and see him smiling. And the tip of the fishing pole. It’s cliche, but I pray, Lord, please let him always want to fish for You. Maybe he will be a fisher of men someday.
Smile, I remind myself. This is one of those moments you will want to remember.
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.