After a couple of hours swimming at the old pool I use to life guard at and no girls swooning over my six pack abs, we went to Linesville, Pa. to feed the fish at the Spillway. The carp jumping for the bread remind me of my students who are so eager to learn. Watch the video! All of my students are this hungry for knowledge! maybe…
We bought our stale bread on the Ohio side of the lake at a corner stand with no one working. We just placed our two dollars in the jar and drove away. It was a great teachable moment when my kids said, “Dad, you could have taken all you wanted. No one would have know.”
“I would have known, though. Integrity is doing what is right even if no one is looking.”
As I drove across the causeway to Pennsylvania, memories of swimming, fishing, and boating flooded my mind. My kids were not as interested in my stories; they were amazed the lake was so big! When we got to the spillway, we proceeded to walk to the edge. My children were amazed seeing the thousands of fish. Then, we threw in bread! We had carp jumping and ducks fighting each other for free food. This has to be the way it is in an elementary class room!
I watched my children try different ways to throw the bread to get it to the little ducks or hit a goose in the head or throw it for a swooping bird to nab it in midair. What would happen if a whole piece of bread was thrown in? (It would cause a feeding frenzy the producers of “Shark Week” would love to televise.) We also watched some fishermen on the other side of the spillway. You would think they would catch their limit of Carp, but in an hour’s time, we only saw one Bluegill caught. My children were really amused at this and learned Carp are not too stupid. Is this where we got the phrase “Carpe Diem”? The real lesson: sometimes it is good to stay near Mom and Dad and not get caught by a predator. Personally, I like this lesson – until they are 18. Then, it’s time for them to set sail and see the world and time for me to buy a condo without a basement, so they can’t move back in with us.
After a chicken dinner, not fish for some reason, we went to the dance. Back in the day, the dance would be where the girls would see my moves and faint at my Elvis-like-hip-shakes. Today, it was a time to buy neon-flashing-light toys like swords and bubble guns and mouth-guards. We listened to the band and the kids played with the new toys Uncle Robert bought them. One saving grace was the fact that my fourteen-year-old daughter did not want to go to the teen dance. For those who know, a teen dance is full of “things” a dad does not like. I know. I went to a few.
The next morning was suppose to be fishing time. However, the boys wanted to drive the golf carts around. After all , they could fish at their grandmother’s place on the lake. Golf cart driving was much cooler than fishing. The kids got the driving experience, and I got the trip down memory lane. I could have bored them with a story or memory from every street we traversed.
It was a great “little” vacation that reminded that what I think is important is not necessarily what kids think is important; that plans need to change, so I need to be flexible; and my idea of fun is not the same as my kids idea of fun.
I hope your vacations are educational and fun.