Fishing with Grandpa

To fourteen-year-old Lisa, fishing with Grandpa was her favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. No one takes time with her like he does. Sitting on the grassy bank of the pond in the middle of the woods, it was as if they were the only two people in the world, and that world was coming to an end.

“Grandpa, I don’t want to move! I want to stay here with you.” She was trying her best not to cry like a big baby, but her tears were on the verge of falling no matter how she tried to stop them.

“Come on now, you’ll be all right. There’s a big world out there for you to see and a lot of growing you’ll be needing to do. You cannot do it if you are stuck here with me all the time. You know you can come visit in the summer and maybe for Christmas, too. Think about how busy you will be with a new school, a new home, and maybe catching a new boyfriend or two.”  Grandpa’s words said one thing, but the sad expression in his eyes gave away the fact that he was going to miss her as much as she was going to miss him.

Lisa knew he was right. He was always right. He was right about where to find the best worms for fishing. He was right about when and where the fish would be biting. It was just that she could not imagine a day without seeing him.

“Boyfriend? I don’t like boys! Even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to catch one.”  The scarlet color that crept into her cheeks gave away her fib.  She did like boys.

Grandpa could not help but smile at her blushing face. “Well, boys are kind of like fish. They’re always swimming around, most of them unsure where they’re going. Sometimes they can be caught by shiny and flashy artificial lures, but the smarter ones prefer natural bait like worms and crickets.”

“I don’t think I am a flashy lure or a worm.” Lisa could not help but giggle when she envisioned herself dressed up as fishing bait.

“I think you’ll figure it out. We better head for the house before your parents get worried.” Once the fishing equipment was packed, they began the short walk back to the house.

As her teenage years passed, Lisa’s thoughts often traveled back to her conversations with Grandpa. Now as a grownup she understood the point he was trying to make comparing boys to fish and comparing her to fish bait. She had noticed how most boys were just “swimming around,” and, yes, the “flashy lures” did catch their attention. She also noticed that when these boys changed into men, their focus turned to the “natural bait.” She discovered that she was “natural bait” as she lived her life not pretending to be something she wasn’t. She did not care to be flashy and artificial in anyway. She also realized that she could wait on a smart fish that would know the difference.  After all, Grandpa was always right.