I’m slow to type this morning. Sitting at my desk in the front room, looking out the window at passing traffic on Main Street. Sun. A strong cup of coffee. Bootprints in the snow where the kids wait for the bus by the maple out front.

My daughter stops in. Whatcha doing dad?
Writing, Bird. Working on a blog post.

She reads the first two lines, since that’s all I’d written at that point. Gives me a quick hug and heads back to join her brothers in a Wii tennis battle.

I suddenly saw the not-so-distant future. At 9, she’s just about at the point where she could sit and read the blog, if she was so inclined. Crazy…my kids being old enough to read their Old-Man’s ramblings. I know they’re the reason this blog exists, but they’re all-too-quickly becoming part of my audience in addition to being my stories’ central characters. I can just hear them: I remember that! or I can’t believe you posted that video. or How come all you have are pictures of small fish?

There are moments as a parent when the gravity of being a parent makes you say damn. When you start to feel like you’re a bit further down the adulthood-road than you want to admit. When you realize that life is too short to not take a chance on following your passion because that’s what you want your kids to do. This was one of those moments. But it’s also been one of those years.

My aim was to compose a tremendous, poetic retrospective of 2010. But the small, quiet realization (reminder, really) that my kids are quickly growing up changed my aim to something much simpler. Looking out the window this morning–Christmas music from the other room, the occasional ping and clang from the pipes and radiators upstairs, the smell of the Douglass fir with its lights and ornaments–my thoughts drift through a sort of mental inventory of this past year. Fishing trips and full hunting seasons. Settling into a new house. Kids and sports (and more sports). Much more time spent with family. The start of this blog and the very cool folks I’ve met through it.

In the end, I just want to keep in mind how blessed a dude I am. To appreciate it each day. Here’s to a tremendous 2011. Merry Christmas everyone…and Happy New Year.


Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey

11 responses to “AS THE YEAR ROLLS ON TO A CLOSE

  1. The perfect perspective on the end of any year… looking forward to the next through the lens of your children.

    The happiest of holidays to you and yours.

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family, bud! See you next week!

  3. Nice post, though it might have had more impact if you’d have written it in iambic pentameter.

    Or maybe right-to-left.

    Just saying.

    It’s hard enough wondering what my friends (and loved ones) think about their appearance in my blog; I don’t even want to consider the scolding I’ll get from Little M (who is two) when she’s old enough to read.


    • Fishingpoet

      I did have my Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics sitting on the desk next to me. Much like grad school though, I found myself suddenly caught in a 1000-yard stare just thinking about cracking the cover…

      I figure the kids will be fans in time, and with some luck. Sort of like how I figure college tuition will start going down by the time they’re due to apply…

      Have a great new year!

  4. bob

    Vanessa, my only daughter, saunters in moms kitchen, it’s noon. an x vera wang model altitude 6 ft. 1. and boyfriend is an x dodger pitcher. she announces that more friends are descending on the old place at. 6:00 tonight.
    last night went to 3-am. i know because i fetched a glass of water at the same time someone else, nephew Payton, a ford model @arizona state was getting more ice. this truly is the land of beautiful people. so, your brood is how old? my dear friend you have much to look forward to. my only hint of youth was i didn’t have to pee.
    happy new year, love bob.

    • Fishingpoet

      Thanks for the well-wishes, Bob. Sounds as though you’re (roughly) in 7th heaven. Very happy you’re finally able to spend some real time with your family. Were all happy, healthy and exhausted here. Happy New Year to you all as well.

  5. Reading your blog over the past few months has been a treat. I appreciate your writing for its poetic style, brevity, and groundedness in nature and deep appreciation for the simple, essential moments of life. Please, keep the good stuff coming.

  6. Great post, Matt. I’ve been thinking a lot about you guys, and especially A., this winter–nine already! Seems like just this morning we were stocking your fridge so there would be some provisions when you got back from the hospital… Happy New Year to you.

    • Fishingpoet

      Great to hear from you Matt! Those days do seem like yesterday…and forever ago at times too. I hope you and the brood had a great New Year as well. Here’s to a great 2011!

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