3 generations — follow up

Sonia - August 22, 2014

It was really quiet around here for three days…eerily quiet!  But while Oliver was up fishing with his daddy, Shaun, and his Opa, Otto, I enjoyed a peaceful, quiet, relaxing weekend alone with Lyndon, our 3-year old son.  Lyndon is a great sleeper so I got lots of rest, luxuriated over steaming cups of coffee in the mornings, got caught up on work while he napped, and spent lots of time outside in the garden.

But at 8pm on Monday night, the silence was shattered as Oliver bounded up the basement stairs, still wearing his “winter clothes” from being up fishing, smelling a little of diesel fuel and fish, beaming a massive smile, cheeks red from the wind, and salt caked in his messy hair.

“Did you miss me?!  Lyndon, what did you think when you got up and I wasn’t here?  I went FISHING!”  he giggled.

It took some effort to calm him for bedtime by taking a long bath.  He talked non-stop about fishing with Opa and how they caught “five HUUUUN-DRED fish!” He described how he helped pick the net and how they had hot chocolate when it got cold out.  He told stories of orcas swimming right under the boat, bald eagles circling above, and a pod of . . . “sorlipses.”

“A pod of what?”

“You know, mummy, those things that are like dolphins.”

“Ah, porpoises!”

“Yeah, those.”

While I was brushing Oliver’s teeth he said “You know, when you are on a boat, you should never go where no one can see you, because they might think you fell overboard.”

My stomach sank.  Oh no, what did he do?

“Is that what happened to you, Oliver?” I asked, trying to sound calm.

“No, no, that’s what happened to daddy,” he said.  “One day daddy was having a bad day and feeling sad when he was on Tesuji.”

Tesuji was the boat Otto fished when Shaun was Oliver’s age.  Things started to make a little more sense – this was a story that Otto must have told Oliver about his daddy when he was his age.  I was eager to hear the rest.  It was a story I’d never heard.

“So daddy decided to go in his hidey-hole.  He pulled up the mattress of his bunk and under it was a little secret door, so he opened it and climbed in.  There were nets in there.  But it’s ok, he didn’t get stuck because they were sacked.”  He looked at me sideways to see if I was impressed with his correct use of fishing terminology.

“Oh, that’s good.  So what happened next?”

“Well, he fell asleep because it was nice and warm down there.  But Opa didn’t know he was down there and Opa got REALLY scared and looked EVERYWHERE for daddy.  The last place he looked was in the net hold and there was daddy asleep.  So Opa was scared daddy fell overboard cuz he couldn’t find him!  So that’s why you should never go where no one can find you on a boat.”  He nodded emphatically.  I smiled and agreed, this was a good lesson.

After the kids were in bed, Shaun confirmed the story and remarked on Oliver’s ability to remember every detail.  Clearly this story had a big impact on all of them.  Shaun filled in details of how both he and his dad felt – Shaun confused why his daddy was acting so strangely, Otto slumped on the floor of the boat, laughing maniacally as relief washed over him.

As Shaun collapsed exhausted into bed that night, he agreed that, no, it wasn’t easy fishing with a curious six-year old, and no one got much sleep. But, somehow, amid the seriousness of fishing, Oliver followed the rules, was curious and engaged the whole time, and stayed very safe. I was relieved!

Shaun was fast asleep as I flipped through photos and videos on his phone.  I’ve gotta admit, I felt a little emotional as I watched.  And I think you’ll agree there is definitely something magical about seeing grandfather and grandson fishing along side one another.

Oliver and Otto picking the net, August 2014.
Oliver and Otto picking the net, August 2014.


2014-08-16 19.33.01

Sonia - August 22, 2014

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3 generations — follow up

Sonia - August 22, 2014

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