How To Make A Kid Tall

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis.

Andrew Curtis | March 3, 2024

Blogger Andrew Curtis stands tall today because his grandfather took the time to take him fishing.

I believe that by now I am qualified to write a story about how to take a kid fishing. Boy oh boy, have I had some practice! And boy oh boy, has my patience been tested. I must confess that it is no major chore for me to acquiesce to my two boys’ frequent requests to take them fishing since fishing is one of my favorite activities on this earth. However, my fishing mentality has had to change through the years as I have spent more and more time supervising kids with poles in their hands. No longer do I focus on catching fish. My main objectives are to be sure the kids have fun and that they learn something useful. Of course, when the fish are biting, they have a blast, but even when nothing bites a hook, the kids can still have the time of their lives. I pay attention to what interests them, like the minnows in the shallow water, or the banana spider on the water oak limb, or the blue heron standing statue still at the banks edge or even the types of aquatic grasses and algae. It becomes more of a classroom in a sense, where all of nature can be the curriculum, and I can be the teacher. Ironically though, I am often the student still, as my kids unknowingly teach ME about the important things in life.

But none of this information and understanding began with me. It all started well before I had kids. I was a kid myself. In fact, my earliest memories consist of being with my grandfather fishing at Lake Oconee. Looking back now, I realize the patience that he had with me, all those times spent in the jonboat, just the two of us.

And on those summer weekend evenings at Oconee, when my family would be eating supper, I would be on the dock catching catfish. (This was the kid who woke up on Saturday mornings not to watch cartoons, but to watch Bill Dance, Roland Martin, Orlando Wilson, Al Lindner and Doug Hannon.) Fishing was in my blood, and it was fueled by the people who recognized this passion in me. Since I was too young to unhook the catfish, I would sprint as fast as my little legs could carry me, throw open the door, and yell, “Daddy Bob, I got another catfish!” The old WWII Navy combat pilot would laugh, slowly push away from his uneaten dinner plate and follow me to the dock where he would grip the slimy fish to unhook it. Then, after rebaiting my hook, he would slowly amble back with filthy hands to the lake house to attempt to finish his supper. Undoubtedly, I would interrupt his eating time and time again, but he never once let on that I was a burden. Never once. As I write this, my eyes are watering just thinking about the kind of man that he was. What a giant in my life! What sturdy shoulders for me to stand on.

I am tall only because I stand on the shoulders of giants like my grandfather. I realize the impact that fishing had on the process of shaping my character, but it all depended on someone spending time with me on the water.

Now it is my turn to do something, to really make an influence. And I pray that my kids are taller than I am, that I may provide them one more set of shoulders to stand on. Fishing allows me a sure way to do that; it can do the same for you; you just have to make the time to go.

So, if you want a kid to be tall, start by taking him or her fishing….

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