Fatherlove - Keeping Fathers Connected

2001 Father of the Year Essay Contest
MARTA NIMLOS
FIRST PLACE WINNER
GRADE 12
School: Shorecrest High School
Teacher: Mrs. Karen Mikolasy
City: Shoreline

I stifle a complaint by biting my lips as I adjust my position on the cold, wet seat of the fishing boat. I wonder why anyone would ever choose to sit here in this drizzle at this godforsaken hour for the sake of catching a creature with a brain size of a nasturtium seed. Then I look over at my dad at the other side of the boat. In the gray dawn, I can see him beaming like he;s never been more content in his life.

Dad senses my gaze and turns to look at me, smiling. "how ya feeliní, Marta Darta?"

"Cold. Tired. Bored." My typical response on mornings like these.

"Trumpet." He says almost inaudibly, an obvious attempt to get my mind off my misery,

I chuckle, roll my eyes then answer, "Saxophone" just as quietly. His technique worked, conspicuously as it was. We had this argument since Dad asked me to say the name of an instrument on a record cover when I was three years old. I had promptly answered "Saxophone" and he tried to explain to me that it was a trumpet. We have never been able to agree since.

We let the argument escalate to a shouting match, and I am about to let loose a triumphant "Saxophone!" when suddenly I feel something tugging the end of the fishing pole Iíd forgotten I was holding in my fingers.

"Hey Dad! I think Iíve got something! Saxophone." My eyes widen and I see Dadís face light up.

"Great! Let me help you. Trumpet."

I try to regain the fine motor skills I lost in the cold in order to work the reel properly,

"I think this is a big one. Saxophone."

"It must be at least ten inches! Trumpet."

We bring in the trout regaling in laughter. I hold the fish and Dad snaps my picture, then lowers the camera and smiles.

"You know, Marta, youíre a really terrific kid."

I smile back and realize why I got up at this godforsaken hour to sit in a cold boat for the sake of catching a creature with a brain the size of a nasturtium seed.