Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Duty

(It's very early on Father's Day morning as I write this and in an hour I'll be pushing the kayak out onto the pond for a couple hours of fly fishing.  I'll hopefully touch a few bass before breakfast.)

As summer has started and the children, Mrs. Manifesto, and I are spending large parts of our days outside together, I have been thinking about how important it is as a parent to teach and be an example for our children. 

It is in a child's nature to want to explore and learn and all to often we're replacing their childhood experiences in the outdoors by letting them burn out their senses with a piece of electronics in their hand while sitting on the couch.

I really think it's the simple things that we do naturally that speak to our children most.  Taking the time to teach is undoubtedly important.  They want to learn.  Take the time to show them how it works.

Yesterday Finn and I were home for a few hours in the afternoon outside playing.  I decided that the kayaks needed a quick wash down and Finn was really into helping.  Finn scrubbed each kayak with the soapy brush, rinsed them off, and played in the waterfall as the water was rolling off the deck and onto the ground.  In the end he was soaked, covered in mud, and happy.  I'd like to think that even as a two year old he's starting to consider that it's important to keep our "toys" in good working shape and if not we still had a good time getting wet.   

So that this post doesn't come off to long and preachy it all comes down to this.  Spend time outside with your children.  Let them play in your fly boxes, catch stuffed animals with your landing nets, tie a funky fly on your vice, practice fly casting in the yard, and catch bluegills with crickets.  They will love all of it.     

To often fly fishing and other outdoor pursuits end up being what dad does and the children never get the chance to try it out for themselves.   Who will do it when we're gone if we don't take the time to teach them and let them try it for themselves?  


swellcat said...

Finn. What a great given name. Homage to Huck, I'd guess . . . not that it need be.

e.m.b. said...

20 years from now, your kids will thank you, with tears in their eyes, for raising them in this way. They'll thank you for giving them this foundation of curiosity that will hold them the rest of their lives. I just thanked mine. :) Happy Father's Day, "Mr. Manifesto"...! And, enjoy those bass before breakfast!

deanwo said...

Amen, Cameron. And be more thankful when they teach you something that you grow to love.

jj wassom said...

Well said Cameron,

My two youngest are outside "playing" air soft with my son (he's 18) girlfriend! My youngest (she's 14) is out with them and decked out for protection. I'm getting ready to hit the water for a couple of hours to enjoy the last hours of light and maybe catch a couple crappie or bass...maybe even a bluegill!

Happy Father's Day all!

kitefly said...

Spot on Cameron. Excellent words for the day. Hope its been as great for you as it was for me.

Cameron Mortenson said...

swellcat...his first name is actually Hayden with a middle name of Finneus but we just call him Finn.

e.m.b..."foundation of curiosity". I like that.

deanwo...thanks and children are good teachers as well.

jj...hope you had a great time on the water. was great. Hope yours was as well.