This afternoon I found myself helping son #2 with his fishing line. He had bird-nested the line and decided it was easier to cut it and start over. He was beyond frustrated with himself trying to tie the leader line to the fly line.
If I'm being honest, he was mostly upset because his dad was fishing about twenty feet in front of him and refused to tie the line. Son #2 needs some work in perseverance and self-confidence. His dad and I try to encourage him to try again and stay with it. Sometimes that's all it takes, but most of the time, it's a temper tantrum from the boy and a mom and dad with shared lost looks.
Son #4 and I had been on a walk for about ten minutes, with me pulling him in the wagon. He wanted to throw rocks in the water which is a big no-no when people are trout fishing all around. Hence, we walked.
As we approached the area where Dad and the other three boys were fishing, I noticed son #2 still setting at the base of a tree. #1 and #3 boys were close by fishing away, but with little action at the end of the line.
"T, have you been sitting here the whole time?" I was wondering if he had tangled again, with some streak of bad luck.
"NO!" he spit at me with contempt and a look of disappointment. He was holding one line in each hand, not doing much to get them tied together. Obviously, he had given up on whatever he was trying to do.
I offered to help, and he barely accepted. "Tell me again what you are trying to do here," I needed clarification. He can do anything when he sets his mind to it, but it works both ways. When he has decided a task is impossible (most of 6th grade math), he will barely try. It is frustrating for everyone.
He needed a loop in the fly line, and I could do that. It seemed to get him started. Then he worked (through three tries) to attach the leader. After he finally got it, he was back to fishing as if none of that had happened.
There weren't many bites tonight, so the fishing wasn't all that fun. Of course, it's not always about the fish.