This past week we spent some time up in the cooler mountain air of Payson, AZ.
While we mostly love tent camping, it was a special treat to actually have a small cabin room to sleep in this trip. We each had a bed and we had a bathroom, so it felt quite luxurious!
Much of our time the first day was spent wandering through the creek. My daughter has incredible coordination when it comes to hiking through creeks and rocks, so she is always fun to watch and very hard to keep up with!
Our second day, however, brought an entirely new experience for all 4 of us.
We caught our first fish!!!!!
Now, to some of you this may not sound impressive. But if you saw us 12 months ago trying to fish in our local pond with our Wal-Mart poles, it would make more sense.
Kevin and I have always dreamed of catching and cooking our own fish. I always visualized it a certain way, but how it actually went was perfect.
So the place we went was called “Catch-a-Trout.” The whole purpose was to provide novices, like ourselves, an opportunity to catch fish, have them cleaned, and grill them onsite.
My daughter had the pole and my son had the net. I was in charge of hooking the bait. She lowered the pole and the fish came storming at the bait. She pulled it up but our hook was empty.
After a few more rounds of this, she finally felt the tug and pulled at the right moment.
My son swooped in with the net and we had our first fish!
The shock and excitement we all felt was priceless. My kids embraced and there were several high-fives.
Then we realized we needed to get it off the hook and into our bucket.
All our expressions changed a bit. Someone had to touch the fish.
This was the moment where all my training as a mom (and a sister with 5 brothers) paid off. Years of gross diapers, nose wiping, skinned knees had prepared me (unbeknownst to me) for unhooking the fish.
I instinctively reached in the net, grabbed the slippery fish, and began trying to unhook him. He was stronger than I anticipated, but I finally got him loose after a few tries. (the hook was really stuck)
We ended up catching 2 more fish after that and they all came off the hook very easily.
After the lady cleaned the fish, we went to a nearby picnic area to prepare them to grill.
It was a surreal moment for me as Kevin seasoned them, grilled them, and plated them.
Our kids were thoroughly grossed out and begrudgingly took 1 bite each, but Kevin and I were thrilled to eat something we caught ourselves.
Things will go wrong in new experiences.
Like the hook in my son’s hand at one point.
Then there was the argument between the kids about whose fault it was when a fish fell off the line.
Also the time we caught one and everyone dropped it on the ground and stared at me to pick it up.
But one of our family goals is new experiences, so you take the good with bad.
From my experience, as time passes we tend to remember more of the good.
So I will remember my kids’ teamwork to catch the fish, their embrace, and Kevin and I enjoying a lunch we caught ourselves.