Hooking Something I Hate

July 088In the back of my fridge in a small white Styrofoam bowl sits something I absolutely detest – a muddy muck of worms.

The saddest part is I bought them myself.

Why would I buy something I hate? Because my 6-year-old son typed up a list of all the types of fish he wants to catch this year. Then he taped it on the back of his bedroom door. And up until I bought that nasty cup of night crawlers, we hadn’t been able to check off any of those fish types.

Now we can mark catfish off the list.

My oldest son loves fishing. He would go all day everyday if I took him. But sadly we rarely catch anything.

A couple of weeks ago I actually looked up the local fishing report before we decided where to go. It said that the Kaysville Ponds were a real hot spot for kids. A fish called a wiper was really hitting on bits of worm. WORM!

I had a serious dilemma. I could take my son to the closest pond, use our usual Power Bait and once again catch nothing. Or, I could face my fear and disgust and purchase a bunch of worms. Let me tell you, you don’t check off fish from my 6-year-old’s 2013 Fishing Goal List by sticking with Power Bait.

I did it. I walked into a gas station, went back to the small brown night crawler fridge and picked out a bowl of worm-infested dirt. I nearly gagged when my son opened it up. Those things were HUGE. And the smell! It almost did me in.

But I took a deep breath as my oldest closed the lid and proudly carried the case to the cashier. I still can’t believe I let those things in my van.

When we got to the pond I didn’t know how I was going to wriggle a worm on a hook. Let alone a bit of a worm. Somehow we were going to have to detach pieces from one of the long snake-like creepers.

Thank heavens my oldest doesn’t hate worms. I actually think he loves them. He grabbed one right off and started cutting off a piece with a knife. Then, I talked him through baiting it on the hook. I have seen my dad do this a bunch of times so I tried to describe it to him the best I could. July 089

Luckily I also happened to have a bag of marshmallows in our diaper bag leftover from our church snack pile. I put the marshmallow on, he put the worm bit on, and we cast our pole. Not five minutes went by before we already had our first fish. It was thrilling.  (Keep in mind we don’t catch fish very often.)

July 091We were fishing on a hill, which made things a little more difficult since I happened to bring my one-year-old along with his stroller, but we made do.

I hooked the fish, then grabbed my baby, ran up the hill buckled him in his stroller, ran back down the hill and helped my 6-year-old finish reeling in. We did this little dance three times before my four and one-year-olds had had enough and needed to leave.

Each of the yellow-bellied catfish we caught was tiny, yet beautiful. It was one of the funnest, wildest fishing trips we have been on. It all happened because I was willing to try something new. Something new that I thought I would hate.

We went back to the same spot a couple of days later and took my husband. We caught four catfish that night. I think we could have keep catching all night if we wanted to stay longer. It was the best.

And to think we almost missed out.

Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t believe I have a bowl full of worms in the back of my fridge. But deep down I think it both disgusts and excites me. Part of me sincerely hopes they last through a couple more fishing trips. There are more catfish to be caught.

Caring for worms

I have officially become grateful for something that I absolutely detest: worms.

I have pretty much hated worms my entire life. I don’t like that they slither out of the soil when it rains and sneak up onto my sidewalk. I don’t like that mischievous little boys toss them at undeserving little girls on the elementary school playground. I don’t like how I can’t figure them out. They don’t even have eyes!

I even hate the way it smells after it rains as the slimy things dry out in the sun. And no matter how much my boys beg, I refuse to take them fishing as bait.

Yet this spring my heart has been softened and I have started to change my mind about worms.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to work in my garden. See, the juicy, wiggly guys keep my two crazy boys occupied while I weed, water and plant.

My children have become completely obsessed with digging for worms and I couldn’t be happier, as long as I don’t have to touch them. Normally if I spot one I’ll dangle it over the side of my shovel or rake, and then holler at one of the boys to come and get it.

They fight over who can grab it and then pick it up with their bare hands and rush it back to their bucket, bug cage or worm home they’ve created.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I planted a bunch of tomatoes in our garden while the boys made worm soup. Disgusting? Yes. Creative? Maybe. Occupying? Definitely.

Is it horrible that I let worms babysit my boys while I work in the yard? I absolutely love gardening. I love raking, weeding and harvesting. Nothing calms me down or helps relieve my stress like pulling out some nasty weeds.

That is why I have become grateful for something I hate. Thank you, worms.

I’ll let my boys play with worms all they want if it gives them something fun to do while I work in the yard. I only have three rules: worms do not enter our home, they do not enter our mouths, and we wash our hands as soon as we are done playing with the slimy, nasty guys.

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