I gotta tell you about my daughter. I have three heroes in life and she’s one of mine. Were fishing for trout up on Hogback Lake. I'm hip dip in my chest waders fly fishing and my twelve year old angel is worm dunking. She yells for me so I waddle to shore and walk up the fishing platform. In her grasp is a twelve inch rainbow.
I say, “hey congrats” and she says “what do you think dad”? Not sure what’s she’s after I say that’s a nice fish. Then she looks at me in such a way I’m left confused. So I ask what’s up. With the finest grin she tells me this is the first fish she ever caught without me helping at all. She picked the rod; baited and made her own cast, set the hook, played the fish and reeled it in all by herself.
We walk back to the parking lot and I talked some guy into taking our picture. Then I hugged the stuffing out of her. She was so aware and I was daddy dumbstruck.
At five years of age she is standing in my garage holding a front paw on a black bear that I’m rough skinning. In her other hand she’s holding a trouble light so I can see. My pink faced little girl is asking about claws and bears fur or is it bear hair and she giggles.
It’s about six am daylight in our swamp, and I’m back on the snowshoes checking my weasel traps and my hand held walkie talkie starts to crack.” Dad”? “Yeah honey”? “Im awake now”. “Okay pal I’m on the diamond willow set, I’ll be back in the house in ten minutes”. “Can I have coco puffs today”? You bet punkin I’ll be right there”. “Did ya get any weasels yet”? She knows exactly where the diamond willow set is, she helped me make it. She was six at the time.
If I listed all the life changing events she’s experienced you probably cry so I’m not going to. But she keeps smiling. Fantastic grades in school, finds time to volunteer in different areas of her young life and is going to start college this year when most kids would start 11th grade in high school. She’s doing both. Im not bragging. Im just so proud of her.
She is the young lady of our home. Dishes, laundry or walking the dog all with the same temperament as laughing with a visiting girlfriend. She chats when we cut up deer and bakes an awesome batch of her special recipe cookies with a blue eyed twinkle you thank the good lord above for.
Reads the classics, and is addicted to one TV show about a mom and her daughter that I catch an occasional eye and ear full with her as well. Popcorn is good and my cigars are going to kill me, she has preached that sermon for years. She has her opinions and it’s hard to argue with her because she’s usually right.
Once in a great while she needs her dad, and most of the time I tell her she’s raising a father more than I’m raising a daughter but she needs a supportive hug. So I grab her and wrap her in my arms and I swear she puts more back in my love tank than I can impress in her. I think she is aces. My mother-in-law used to tell me to put her down once in a while when I first got her without the instruction manual from the hospital. No manual could cover such a daily gift I’ve been given. She’s going to be a shrink because of all the chaos I create on a daily basis. She says after me she is really going to be able to help some normal people.
She got her driver’s license last Friday. Passed just fine with some small bumps but passed. Today she called me on her cell phone from the new-fangled gas stations that have pumps but no employees. Dad? Yeah honey? How do I put gas in the car? All our driving lessons and I forgot that.
Please take the time to look up what the word hero means. I'm positive my daughter’s name is in the definition somewhere, and I hope your sons or daughters are too.
The trout whisperer