Some of the first thoughts I had when my wife told me she was pregnant was realizing that all of the fun things I love doing were going to cease. The things I did kind of made up who “I” am.
So who am I if I’m not chasing down snow storms in the winter to snowboard fresh powder or not leaving to backpack for 5 days in the Sierra Nevada mountains? Who am I going to be sharing these adventures with? Who’s going to appreciate how special that moment was? Will my friends want to hang out with an infant or toddler when they don’t have kids? Will they be ok with the challenges of getting a little kid into the woods and safe with plenty of snacks and breaks? So what am I going to be with this little blob of drooling flesh that refuses to let me sleep and wants to spit up on me every time he sees a clean shirt on?
Don’t get me wrong, I was stoked to become a father and elated to know I was having a son. I just couldn’t imagine what this ball and chain would make of me…
Fast forward three years and I made it! I’m still me. Different, but still me. And it turns out a made a little copy of me. Somehow I lucked out with a boy who wants to be in the woods too and go on adventures All-The-Time. He’s becoming a beast on the trails and can easily ascend some steep stuff. I’ve been easing him from local hills into bigger areas and it was time to hit up the San Gabriel mountains. I checked the weather reports and saw an ad for a Trout Pool close to the trailhead - perfect!
My boy gets his first real mountain hike and can catch some trout. The hike was awesome but way hotter than expected. Extra drinks were definitely needed. I’m so glad that I brought my Freezable Can Cooler Backpack which allowed me to carry chilled drinks and snacks, hands free. It made the hike more bearable. Then off to fishing. He’s so stoked at seeing the fish and couldn’t wait to get his line in. Pop! We get a strike first cast. (Trout pools are designed for kids and it’s a guaranteed catch, but still). We bring in the first and he’s over 20”. Heck yes! Cast again and in 10 mins we have 3 more. Little man is way to amp’d up now to sit and it’s time to go… with a big bag of fish. Like I said, I thanked my wife for insisting I take the PackIt because the Can Cooler Backpack is still cold after 6+ hours outside and it's large enough to fit drinks, snacks and 4 rainbow trouts.
It was an epic day. He’s asked to go back now twice and now picks up every long stick in the yard to pretend fish. It looks like I will be doing what I love with a new little wingman. I know he loves spending time with his dad and me him. That was expected. What was unexpected is how stoked all my buddies were when I showed them a picture of my boy with his first fish. It gives me a little more confidence in the path I’m taking to raise him. It also makes me realize I didn’t give anything up to be a dad. I just grew my crew.
Happy Father's Day!
- Craig Maloney, Guest Blogger