Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Story of a Grandpa's Love and Tadpoles

Oh boy, do I have a neat story to tell you...

One thing I dread is when a Mother Goose Time unit ends that we are really enjoying...

It's almost mid-April and we are still doing the Pond theme. We simply cannot stop. We are learning too much to stop and as a partial homeschooler, I love the freedom of being able to continue to learn and explore beyond a set amount of time. 

Two days ago we went to my parent's home. They have a pond which has recently been filled with quite a bit of water due to this year's rains. The kids begged grandpa to go fishing. (There is no fish in this pond but they desperately wanted to believe there was). 

Grandpa took them down to the pond in his tractor. Strong B "drove" it on the way down. 

Grandpa (my step-dad) has a deep love for fishing. He still has his fishing-themed office and I'm sure that his daydreams take him back to the lakes where his father taught him how to fish. 

This was my step-father many years ago.


I have very fond memories of him teaching me how to fly fish in Wisconsin in Rice Lake. The smell of the water and the feeling of the sun on my back has stayed with me for 29 years now. I went with him for the first time at 12 years-old. Rice Lake was a foreign country to this California girl. 

Needless to say, seeing him with his grandchildren gave me a lump in my throat as I saw him with excitement in his eye as he taught them how to fish. I don't know if he'd imagined this moment, but I do know (even if he's not enough of a softie to admit it) that it probably felt like a dream come true and I had to wonder if it made him think of his departed father teaching him how to fish. 


Seeing him give the instructions to them and noticing how graceful he was at whipping the line back and forth reminded me of my awkward early teen years and how he had done the exact same for me. 


He even taught me how to drive the boat. Someday I'll write about how he taught me to sail a sailboat which we did for many years in Santa Barbara. Those sweet memories will always be nestled into my mind and I often long for those days of a beautiful sail, sunburnt skin, and the barbecue he'd always make afterwards. 


Memories lead us to more memories and all of a sudden it's as if all of these years haven't  whirled past you and you are right in the middle of it...But then you come to and realize that years have passed and new memories are being created for the next generation of life...and you realize how fragile time is.

There is just something about a grandpa teaching his grandson to fish...


After they "fished" they realized that there were literally hundreds of tadpoles dancing beneath the water. See that black? Those are lumps of tadpoles.


And because Tiny B so sweetly asked, grandpa braved the swarming bees and mud to try to get some tadpoles using a tiny net--the only net they could find. 


He caught two--one for each child. Here they are fiercely holding onto the tadpoles, fighting for their own, as only siblings can do. 


"Its mine!" "NOOO!!! It's mine!!"


Grandpa took the fishermen back up the hill to decide what to do with their catch. 


They decided they wanted to keep them, so we researched how to care for tadpoles, discussed it, and found the components for their home around the ranch. 

And then they watched them all day. 


Here's where the story speeds up and then takes us to today.

Strong B "loved"  his tadpole a bit too much and ultimately squished him, I think. Tiny B wanted to make sure they were fed so she made me boil lettuce for them. This is definitely a 4 year-old boy compared to a 6 year-old girl. I love it.

Grandpa took them fishing the next day and got them several tadpoles, of which are now living in containers on my front lawn. Today we will make them an appropriate environment and boil some lettuce, of course. 


Thank you for walking through my memories with me. I'm moving soon and I'm looking forward to pouring over the pictures from my life in the photoboxes in my closet. It's a hard task, to decide which photos to keep (I'll probably keep them all) and to simply allow my mind to go back to those places that I would give a thousand dollars to venture to again. 

My hair is turning gray in spots and my mind is so full of my children that I barely take the time to remember my previous life...what everything once was and will never be again. It's sad but it's happy. Time passes us by and we are blessed to be here and blessed to be continuing the circle of life...passing the memories on to my children. We are hoping that grandpa takes the kids to a real lake to fish. I don't think we'll have to twist his arm...When they are older they will look back on fishing with grandpa with fondness and love. It's all about love.

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