Tim Russert and the Imperfect Moment

On my way to the Bahamas Wednesday I stopped and bought my seven-year-old a fly rod and reel. He’s been asking for it for some time — in fact it was tops on his summer list of things he wanted most. Will has been tying flies for a couple of years now, and he can cast my 9-weight a good 30 feet, so I figured it was time to make it easier for him to get really impassioned. Truth is, it is still more about my passion than his, though in the fungible mind of a seven-year-old intensity makes up for an awful lot of persistence.
I was crushed by the death of Tim Russert. No other way to put that, and no other way to explain why the news of his passing resolved all questions of whether or not it made sense to spend so much money on a piece of high-tech gear that will no doubt be broken and eventually forgotten. Russert reminded us that just as you could be a good, unbending interviewer while still being fair, you could be a good dad without being perfect. It is indeed the little things that count, even if — and perhaps especially if — they are fishing trips that get rained out, fly lines that get shredded in the process of learning to cast, and fishless days sweetened by mashed PB&J sandwiches.
If I had any doubt about what I will be doing when I get home, it’s gone. Have a great Father’s day.

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