Five days ago…The Daily Post writing prompt was the word fish.
My dad had his heart set on a boy.
From what I understand, he did not hide his disappointment well. When the nurses brought me out to the waiting room and asked if he wanted to hold his daughter, Dad quickly shoved his hands in his pockets.
Our father/daughter relationship went downhill from there.
He tried to turn me into a pseudo-buddy by making me watch sports. I hate football to this day. For Christmas one year, he bought me a fake gun and some cardboard ducks so I could practice shooting. When I got good enough, he informed me, we would go hunting. Fortunately, I never got “good enough.” The idea of shooting the cardboard ducks made me cry, even before he started yelling at me for (purposely) missing the targets.
His last ditch attempt at turning me into a buddy was fishing.
And I was good at it!
And I liked it under these conditions:
- I got to pet the fish
- we threw them back
This was one hell of a compromise for my dad. But, apparently it was better than nothing because that’s the way it was.
Until I was seven-years-old we lived in IL. Every summer my parents would rent a cottage on Cranberry Lake in Eagle River, WI for a week. That was our summer vacation.
One time, my dad agreed to take me out in the row boat for an afternoon of fishing. He wasn’t crazy about the idea since there were huge Muskie to caught. With his luck, he’d catch one & have to throw it back because of me. I’m pretty sure my mom insisted that he take me because she needed some alone time.
So, off we went.
I let my arm drag in the water and asked question after question about anything & everything as Dad rowed the boat. He was getting annoyed, but I couldn’t stop talking.
Eventually I brought my arm out of the water to find four or five leeches attached to it. I couldn’t believe my luck!
“Look, Dad! They like me!”
Well, dear ol’ Dad flipped out and much yelling and tears ensued. After plucking my new pets from my arm, he immediately turned the boat around.
I was dropped off at the cottage and spent the afternoon playing Hi-Ho-Cherry-O with my mom.