The teenagers are at camp so I have had some opportunities to spend one-on-one time with Aaron, our five year old son. I’m seeking little ways to give him undivided attention. Sunday night we stayed up late and ate fruit and yogurt parfaits. Monday we did a “geocache” adventure – searching for hidden treasure in Tampa. Tuesday after work I took him to the causeway to fish for a few hours. We picked up some live shrimp and hit an outgoing tide. I spent a lot of time casting his line and getting it unsnagged. Nothing remarkable happened. The results of our evening consisted of a huge catfish, a blue crab, and several “thumps” from a school of ladyfish.

However, another perspective would show a greater catch for this dad and his son! We followed the fiddler crabs as they scampered into the crevices of the rocks along the seawall. We marveled at the aerobatics of brown pelicans as they plummeted out of the sky to scoop up their catch just below the water’s surface. We discovered how much a large catfish has in common with a shark. We observed a pair of prehistoric-looking horseshoe crabs that we decided were playing tag. Finally, we ran out of names for all the colors in a sunset that would be considered spectacular in many parts of the world, but was rather common for the Suncoast.

During the ride home, out of the blue, he said, “Thanks, Dad.” These are the moments I clasp in the locket of my mind. Sharing the simple pleasures of the Mountain State Forest Festival with Maribeth. Camping and kayaking with Justin at Fort Desoto. Talking with Sarah as we drive to the east coast on the way to preach a Sunday evening service – and watching her sleep on the way home later that night. Trekking with the family through St. Augustine to discover secrets hidden for centuries (or just decades) in St. Augustine. Through the years I gaze at those pictures in my mind and smile a satisfied grin. It doesn’t get any better than that!