for most this amazing day:a day with my son


*Written by my husband Seth. He blogs here.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

~e.e. cummings

Jude, the middle son with the iron will and wild eyes, said “I can’t believe you are taking me camping, Daddy.”  He carried his boy things–the borrowed pocket knife, the partly whittled sticks, a piece of gum for the road.  He had that fidget about him, the one of leashed ecstasy.

We set up camp on the banks of Crooked Creek, a gem of the Natural State where the small mouth bass run riffles quietly, like a whisper.  Men come to fish this creek.  Boys come to find treasures, to listen to the secrets slipping from under the rocks.  Jude ran up and down the banks like a wild horse—jumping, skipping, laughing.

“Look at this arrowhead, Daddy.”

“Look at these fish guts, Daddy.”

“Look at this deer poo, Daddy.”

We gathered dry wood together.  We placed sticks in a tee pee.  Jude helped tend coals.  He leaned low and blew hard on the tinder, just like his daddy.  The burnt orange ignited into flames and his eyes reflected fire.  We made a coal bed to the side of the fire and James, our camp chef and fishing buddy, cooked food over the top.  Jude devoured food that he’d never eat otherwise, green beans and all.  The campfire was magic, he said.

After dinner, Jude told stories about a little girl, a good friend.  “That’s what guys do around a fire,” I told him, “we talk about our women.”  He giggled a bit and retired to the tent.  “The stream will be my noise-maker, Daddy,” he assured me.  He was asleep before I said good night.

The next morning we loaded our Kayak—two fishing rods, a mother-packed lunch, and a pair of intrepid explorers.  Jude manned the front of the kayak, navigated the tricky nooks and crannies of the spring fed creek.  We high-centered in low water and Jude stood on the front of the kayak, fearless.  This was his day, his creek.

Along the way we stopped and sunk lures into deep pools.  I hooked a small bass and let Jude play it to the shore.  I told him he that he had done the hard work.  Reeling can be tricky.  He laughed at my encouragement, knew instinctively that I’d done the heavy lifting.  He gave the rod back and ran to explore the tracks of mythical creatures.  Attention spans can be fleeting.

We made the long haul, 5.2 miles through canyons and valleys.  As we ducked under a railroad bridge and rounded the bend for the home-stretch of water, Jude turned and said, “this was my best day, Daddy.”

“Mine too,” I said. “It was most amazing.”

 

Seth
About me

20 Comments

Jessica Y
Reply October 17, 2011

tears

emily freeman
Reply October 17, 2011

yes, this living. Beautiful and true.

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    Yes... living indeed. This is likely a day I'll come back to again and again.

Patricia @ Pollywog Creek
Reply October 17, 2011

Loved the "boy things" and the preciousness (is that an OK word to use with guys?) of this "most amazing day." Thank you for bringing us along.

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    Yes, it's an okay word for a woman to use for boys. But if'n I were saying it, I would say the "hard-coreness" or the "super-dangerousness" or the "most masculinest" of this amazing day. Because I'm a guy. We're rough around the edges that way. The lady folk keep us honest, I think.

Erin
Reply October 17, 2011

Oh, I love it! Seth is such a great daddy :)

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    Perfect... I have my sister-in-law fooled.

Carolyn
Reply October 17, 2011

I adore the way you both love your boys. So special that you give us a window into those amazing relationships. Thank you for that.

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    Windows are good things... for us too.

Prudence
Reply October 17, 2011

Beautiful. His acknowledgement that men talk about their women around the camp fire, reminds me of Ray LaMontagne's song God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise.

"At night some of the boys, get to talking up their girls back home. I tell them none's as fine as mine."

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    None's as fine as mine for sure. She is the rightest.

Brandee Shafer
Reply October 17, 2011

Neither of you would've ever forgotten the experience, even if you hadn't written it. But I'm so glad you wrote it.

I'm even gladder you had it.

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    We try to memorialize these moments in little ways. It helps me remember what is important. Thanks for stopping by.

Mela Kamin
Reply October 18, 2011

there's just something about time with Daddy that stirs up the adventurer - my boys relish it & I love that they see what an enormous gift it is. Glad to see your Jude does too.

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    Adventurer... true. That's a good way to put it.

Juanita
Reply October 18, 2011

Sons are amazing and have the ability to graciously compile BEST DAYS EVER from simply eating chocolate chip cookie dough after baking with mom to wading creeks to gathering rocks and sliding down snowbanks.
Love this post...thanks for sharing!

    Seth
    Reply October 18, 2011

    I actually told Amber that it was the "best day ever." No lie. You can ask her.

Pam Allsion
Reply October 16, 2012

Awesome!! Days that will never be forgotten, cherished.

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