…I texted my grandson. I am always asking him, but never get the response I want. I would like Billy to come down to Florida by himself, for some freshwater fishing on a river I discovered off Jupiter inlet. During the summers, I have coaxed him to fish with me in Maine at our camp, but only if his father or mother were in the canoe with him. I can understand that at age 12 he may be too young to travel by himself from New York to Florida or Maine, but I keep asking and hoping for at least a “maybe.” Instead, I get a definitive “no.” I know Billy enjoys our Maine excursions with Andy our fishing guide. Andy always puts Billy into small mouth bass (that’s fisherman talk) and in fact, Billy boasts to friends and family about how much he catches. Last summer with his mom, he caught more fish than I did. But my dream of having my grandson fish and hike in the woods with me, just the two of us, won’t be a reality until Billy is a little older.
In the past, my girls would not want to go on my fishing trips, whether in the U.S. or abroad. Even the promise of international travel was not enough to tempt them. They were teenagers, more comfortable at home with their mother and their peers, none of whom were of learning how to flyfish. I always imagined that someday I would have a grandson to accompany me, and that’s why I am a little impatient waiting for Billy to grow up enough to wave goodbye to his parents and go along with Grandpa’s plans. I know he will eventually – Billy is a terrific, adventuresome kid. Of late, I suspect there may be another factor making him hesitant about leaving home, even for a short time: his sister is away at her first year of college. Billy may be enjoying all the undivided attention from his mom and dad, and at the same time, may not want them to feel lonely without any of their children around. I am no substitute for his parents, whom he adores.
As a child I had no qualms about taking adventurous trips without my parents. I joined my friends and their parents on trips to the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River and I attended Camp Seneca, which was sleepaway, every summer growing up. I went to basketball games with my Uncle Sam, getting home long after dark, and went on weekend excursions to the farm of one of our neighbors. I was always up for getting out of the house and being somewhat on my own at Billy’s age. When I received an Indian Racer bicycle I was off every day after school, exploring. During the summers I was out on my bike from after breakfast until sundown. Back then, being at home just wasn’t as entertaining as it is for kids these days with television and computers and video chatting with friends. I didn’t even have books at home –I had to go to the library for those and read them there, my bike parked outside. When Billy hits his teen years, I won’t take “no” for an answer. And my wifi is working just fine for video games, computer, all of it–AFTER we get back from a day on the lake.