Stef just hit the seven-month mark this week, so we’re in the home stretch now. Baby Jane will be here in March, just before the opening day of trout in Pennsylvania. While I seriously doubt we’ll be making fishing memories with her that soon, like those Stef has with her dad and pap, we will be teaching her a love of the sport and the outdoors from the get-go.
Case in point, the first thing we hung up in Jane’s nursery is a picture that Stef found. It’s a field guide to fishing lures with the pictures and names of 15 classics, from frogs to grubs and jigs to crankbaits. Hey, it’s never too early to start!
I’m sure some people will question why we’d be hanging pictures of fishing lures and even a fly rod photo album on the walls of a girl’s nursery. “Why isn’t there more pink?” they’ll ask. Or, “Where are all of the princess pictures?”
This isn’t a gender thing for us. It’s not about what’s traditional for a boy or traditional for a girl. It is about traditions; the passing on of something from parent to child, from one generation to the next.
Stef’s pap passed it on to her dad, who passed it on to her and her brother. They have many great memories of time spent together by a stream or lake waiting for the next fish. And while my dad and I don’t have those memories from my childhood, we’re building them now, still as a father and son, just as adults.
Years from now, it will be the memories that are important, not how much pink was in the nursery. It will be about the time spent outside taking in the only reality show truly worth watching. Instead of watching the nature channel, we’ll be watching nature. Instead of playing video games, we’ll be making videos of the games we’ll play with her.
For us, teaching Jane about the field guide to fishing lures will be just as important as teaching her the alphabet. And you can be darn sure she’ll know her daddy’s favorite lure is brought to you by the letter “J.”
That picture represents building blocks, the building blocks used to create bonds and memories of a lifetime to come.
Then years from now, Jane, Stef and I will be in the same boat, and I’ll hear, “Dad what color is that sunset?” And I’ll say, “It’s pink.”
* Jeff Herman is the assistant news director at WMAR | ABC2. His main passion while not at work is fishing. This column is part of a series of columns he writes for our outdoors page . You can read more of his columns here .