Hubs and I were out at the lake yesterday, drowning some worms. We won't talk about how they've totally harshed my favorite fishing spot. (After they harshed my original favorite fishing spot by closing it entirely.) We only drove through there and decided not to bother. We went to what used to be my third favorite spot. The sun was high and hot, which doesn't really make for good fishing, but the only actual goal yesterday was to be out at the lake and to stare at bobbers.
So, there we were when a father and two small children come along. The kids are swimming and floating and the boy has his own little fishing pole. They were over there. They didn't bother us and we didn't bother them.
After a while, the little girl starts picking her way along and suddenly, there she is next to me. Pretty little blonde girl in her pink lifejacket. I say hello and ask her if she was being very careful. (Because I'm a mom.) She immediately strikes up a conversation. The fish weren't biting, so I reeled in and let her talk. Boy, she could talk. Reminded me of me at that age.
After a while of telling me all sorts of things - about her dad's boat and the cabin they own and her brother and her sister and mom's headache and.... you get the point - she tells me she's in first grade. Cuz she got left back. I tell her 'that's okay, you'll catch up in no time'. - because I could clearly tell she was a bright little girl. She solemnly tells me that she got left back because they couldn't do much school last year. Because there weren't enough teachers and they had to have two grades in the same class. And that her mother held her little brother back so they wouldn't end up in the same grade. Cuz that would be weird.
Meanwhile, Hubs caught a fish. A 12.5 inch bass. Not big enough to keep, certainly. I took the pliers over to him to get the fish off the hook and then called the girl over. I let her pet it and convinced her to touch its mouth (bass have no teeth, per se, but sandpapery lips.) Then she was off again, talking.
After a while, her father wandered over and asked if she was bothering us. "Has she told you her life story yet?" Dad knows his girl apparently. I told him she was fine and that she got to touch a bass. Apparently Hubs' bass was the only one any of us caught.
In the times when I could get a word in edgewise, I told her about how my daddy used to take me fishing when I was a little girl. She doesn't like to fish. I told her some other things about when I was a little girl. She asked if we had a TV. Umm, yes, but we didn't have a color TV until I was ten. She nodded sagely and said something about there not being TV's before then. I told her there were TV's but not cell phones or computers. Shocked, she was.
Anyway, we fished for probably another 30-45 minutes and headed off. The family was already gone. The girl said they were leaving Monday night, and yesterday was Monday, so I'm guessing they needed to get back to pack the car. I never did ask her name. She never offered it. Which was good. She actually didn't give me any identifying information. Which was also good. Sure, she talked to strangers, but all-in-all she was a good girl.
On the way home, Hubs and I talked about her. She's one of a huge generation of kids who, because of this chaos, are behind the curve of where they should be. Kids who didn't get to finish school last year because of the 'rona. A nation of children 'held back' in more ways than one.
After we got home, something occurred to me. I'm old enough to be that girl's grandmother. If Owl had a kid when she was twenty, the kid would be seven now. :shudder: I'm too cool to be a grandma. (Okay, maybe not cool. Too mentally young?)
It was an interesting trip, to say the least. We both needed some lake time, even if we didn't catch more than that one fish.