Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Start 'Em Young

     We all have to start somewhere. Sometimes we teach ourselves a new skill and sometimes it’s something that we are introduced to when we are young. I didn't pick up fishing until I was in my mid 20’s. Because I did, now I can help my little ones learn at an earlier age. I love teaching my children life lessons and values early so they will be better equipped to face this world of disappearing country and fast appearing technology.
        As I sit here now, my sons are fighting over an iPad. We just had our first snow day in 15 years and after an afternoon of building snowmen, screen time becomes first priority. However, when Mother Nature decides to cooperate, we will have fewer squabbles in the house over material items and be more in tune with the outdoors. Preferably with a fishing rod in hand. When my kids are fishing, they are not fighting. Fishing is relaxing and fun. It is focused. They each have their own poles and tackle boxes and are forever trying new techniques to catch the elusive trout that swim the streams nearby. They are able to spread out on the river and tune out the world around. We listen and learn from Nature. She teaches us to seek shelter when we are exposed to the elements. She teaches us to build fires and how to read different terrains to help keep us alive. She teaches us to use our minds and our senses. The distractions are small and the payoffs large.
        I teach them God has given us beautiful places to help ourselves grow both physically and spiritually. Our kids need to be taught early in life how much our Heavenly Father loves them and appreciate what He has provided for them. Supposedly, the best time to learn is within the first three years of a child’s life. Everyone is going to teach their children things in which they excel. LeBron James’ son, at the tender age of 10, would wipe the basketball court with me and take my knees with him. Scott Eastwood is following in the great Clint Eastwood’s footsteps on the big screen. Any sort of public acting/speaking makes me want to cry. My daughter, in addition to being a dang good angler already, learned from her mama that reading is like breathing. Both my beautiful girls always have a book within arm’s reach. We teach our kids what we know. We teach our kids what we love. I'm blessed I can teach my lil ones to fish, hunt and appreciate the great outdoors. It won't put a million bucks in their pockets, but it will allow them to appreciate their purpose in life and the plan their Heavenly Father has for them.

-Long Rifle