You got home from work that morning at three AM. The house was quiet and empty. Your wife and daughter were out of town, and he had been staying at your mom's for three days, and you couldn't wait to see him. Getting to sleep by four, you set the alarm for eight, giving you time to get the gear together and make lunch for you both. Baloney sandwiches, and juice boxes. You hurried to his school and signed him out. It was going to be a good day.
You gave your boss some lame excuse why you wouldn't be in the next evening, but you broke down and told him that you were laying out to take your boy fishing, that you haven't seen him in almost a week, and he just smiled and patted you on the back. "See you Monday," he said. You wanted everything to be just right, so you went down the list of things to remember, all that night as you did your job.
He came running down the hallway when they called his name on the intercom, and hopped up in the truck. He had so much to talk about, and you smiled and laughed at the expressions on his face as he told you about his day. He asked if you'd heard from mom, and you told him she'd be home before midnight. Even though you said you wouldn't, you stopped at that store and grabbed a couple of Ugly Cakes and chocolate milks, and by the time you reached the river, he was so jacked on sugar that he couldn't sit still.
Trout were stacked up in every bend of the river that day, and they wouldn't hit a thing. You tried worms and salmon eggs and dough and roostertails, but they could care less. He was getting restless, and discouraged with the fishless day, so you got him back in the truck and drove five miles to a bait shop and bought three dozen minnows.
Back on the river, you hooked one of the baitfish by the lip and handed the rod to him. He flipped the minnow in a shadowy hole and WHAM! The ten- inch fish stripped his drag like a dump truck. He was elated, to say the least.
On up the river, you both spotted a huge brown trout, laying beside a sunken log. It was the biggest trout you had ever seen in your life, and it was ten yards from you, fanning in the current. You flipped your minnow in front of him, and watched the horrendous eat when the trout exploded on that bait. You were so excited that you held the line tight against the spinning rod when the fish turned to run, and the last thing you heard was the twang of the line when it popped. Both of you stood there with mouths wide open, watching the pig of a trout swim off and disappear. You felt like crying.
He put his little hand on your back and consoled you. He said it was OK that you lost that huge fish. Also, he reminded you how big the trout was, and that you'd probably never get to see a trout that big again. Ever in your life. The two of you sat on a rock and ate your baloney sandwiches, then used up the rest of those minnows. A few caught trout, the rest died slow and painful deaths from the heat. You were both filthy, wet, and very tired when you left the river that day.
When your wife got home at midnight, he was waiting up to tell her all about your adventure. He said it was a fun day. Looking back now, you remember how fun it was, too. And you wonder if he thinks about that day as often as you still do.