I've Got Worms

Like Harry and Lloyd from the movie Dumb and Dumber, I've got worms. Well, my daughter does. But the are the good kind - night crawlers. Up until the end of last year, she was afraid of touching my plastics, let alone night crawlers. Though I am a bass fisherman at heart, I target panfish during ice fishing, when bass season is closed in Wisconsin in the spring, or when fishing with my daughter. Her favorite fish to catch is crappie. (As of last year, she catches them but doesn't touch them).

Towards the end of last season, she suddenly lost her fear of touching worms. With spring (finally) arriving in Wisconsin, she has filled me with pride and embraced the hobby of worm hunting. She loves the outdoors and nature. She also enjoys fishing (though our trips usually end with a trip to build sand castles at the beach). This spring, she has also convinced her friends digging for worms is fun. In this iPad/tablet generation, I was proud she was willing to dig in the dirt. I was also proud of her interest in worms and what was required to raise them to maintain our own fishing bait. I quickly grabbed this opportunity to buy a Frabill Worm Habitat, bedding, and worm food. When I brought her home form school today, her face lit up like it was Christmas morning when she seen the Habitat, bedding, and food sitting in the garage awaiting to house the 40+ worms she collected over the weekend. We quickly got to work setting up her worm's new home. Amidst the efforts, her friends were yelling for her to come play with them. She followed through on her responsibility of transferring the worms for their inadequate dirt container to the Frabill paradise. Impressive at 5 years old.

After fishing the transfer, the worms smiled, waved, and burrowed into their new bedding. She ran off to play with her friends while shouting over her shoulder, "Dad! Can you dig for some more worms in the yard for me?!". Naturally, I obliged and was again filled with pride when she came back to our worm mining location with two friends in tow. The three 5/6 year old girls added over 30 more worms to the family. Before bed, my daughter checked on the worms to make sure they were doing OK and looks forward to giving them their first feeding in a few weeks. Today's youth are surrounded with instant gratification. The Internet, tablets, flat screens, streaming video, etc. I was appalled when my daughter was recently playing a game of chores for kids. She was actually doing chores on her tablet, and considered it fun. When I suggested doing the real chores, she looked at me as if I were crazy. Thus, I feel like my wife and I are doing well as parents when she takes a keen interest in the outdoors and things as simple as this. Some may say a 5 year old girl shouldn't be digging in the dirt for worms to raise for fishing. I say, "Why not?" Her and her friends are learning the value of hard work, getting their hands dirty, and being responsible for something. Fishing, worm farming, and many things in life do not provide the instant gratification available to us today. It takes work, patience, understanding, and failure to succeed. I'm not saying every child should have a worm farm. But it is important for our children to learn the value of hard work and the result of said work. So, do you have worms?