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arefully, Teddy tied the lure to the end of his son's fishing line. He pulled it taut a few times just to make sure it was snug and secure. The lure, a little spinner, wasn't going anywhere.
"Is it ready, Dad?" Jake asked. The excitement in his son's voice put a smile onto Teddy's face. He knew that he would always love his son no matter what, but when he saw his boy getting excited about something that he was passionate about himself, life was all the better. This was something that they could share.
"I think so, Jake," he said, nodding approvingly.
"All right! Can I start then?" his eager son inquired.
The weather was a bit nippy this time of the year, and the wind picking up and blowing over the lake made it even chillier. Truthfully, Teddy knew that these were not the optimal conditions for catching a fish. He was happy to let Jake have his first go at fishing, but he also hoped that he would have some success today. Jake's first memory of the sport should be a positive one.
"Well, you're not even going to wait for me to get set up?" Teddy playfully prodded.
"Aw, come on, Dad," Jake pleaded.
"You remember how I taught you?" Teddy confirmed. The father and son had practiced casting technique in their backyard yesterday afternoon with an old rod and a lead weight. The boy had gotten the hang of it pretty quickly, a moment that would make any father proud.
Jake nodded in the affirmative.
"Well, okay then, just head out to that point there and give it a try. I'll join you in a minute, as soon as I'm ready."
The smile of excitement beamed from ear to ear on Jake's face. "Do you really think I'll catch anything?" he asked his father.
"You never know, Jakey, you never know. Now get going and give it a try. And be careful!" Teddy ordered, but in an encouraging way. "Yes, sir!" Jake shot back, already stumbling to the water's edge with his fishing rod in tow.
The spot where Teddy had told his son to go was not more than four or five meters away from where he currently stood. Experience had taught him to never bring all his gear right to the water. He began slowly working on his own kit. Teddy knew that he was pretty much ready to go--he had already prepared everything last night.
The father was mostly just watching. His eyes could hardly believe that his son was already this old. Jake had only been born on what seemed like yesterday, and now the boy was about to cast on his own for the first time. Soon, he'd be all grown up and out on his own, or so it felt.
Jake stood at the edge of the point now, and ran through the procedures he had practiced with his dad, making sure that he remembered everything. Then, the time had come. The boy wound up, pulled the rod back, and let it rip.
Teddy winced as absolutely nothing happened. The lure whipped back and forth on the short length of line that was loose. His first instinct was to immediately call out to his son, to tell him that his finger was in the wrong spot to allow the reel to let more line out.
But he knew that he wouldn't always be there to help him. Jake was a smart boy, and they had practiced this so many times, Teddy was confident that he would figure it out on his own.
Jake wound up and cast again. The motion was awkward and sloppy, but a few moments later, the lure hit the water with a satisfying "plop!"