Friday, February 17, 2017

Role Models

Consulting with fellow-enthusiast Jorge
I have an ambition when it comes to parenting.

I strive to be an average father. I aspire to a middling outcome.

In our culture, everyone is always talking about how so and so is "such a great dad."

Well, we can't all be so great. I'm doing my best just to do OK.

It might be my unshakeable faith in the not-so-great, not-so-terrible nature of my abilities as a father, but I have long been attracted to the idea that what a growing boy needs at times is a male role model who is not his dad.

I had been thinking that might come in handy when the boys were 13 or so.

But lately Elias' enthusiasm for fishing has been outstripping my ability to fake it and keep up. I may or may not be an average sort of dad, but I am definitely sub-par when it comes to angling.  I can't wait to go gillnetting in Alaska to put in a winter supply of salmon. And I love trolling a lure for tuna on passage. But if you ask me if I'd like to spend a few hours of a perfectly good afternoon drifting around in the dinghy, trying to catch something, I'll probably remember a pressing boat job that I've been meaning to do.

On a couple occasions lately, Elias has found a work-around. He's met adult yacthies who are as mad for the piscine hunt as he is. And, one way or another, he has organized fishing expeditions with them, in their dinghies

I *think* that these fishing buddies of his are enjoying the outings as well. He always seems to come back with happy stories about all the interesting conversation that they had (read: he talked their ears off?). And, more to the point, they also come back with fish.

Anyway, whatever these friends to Galactic might think, I think these outings are a great way for Elias to go about the business of finding his way in the world, and finding his feet outside of the family domain.

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