Daughter on the water.

My daughter’s already got the disease. We spent the holiday at my family’s summer place, and after her first spin on the first day, the words she most often uttered henceforth were, “Boat ride.”

The key, we found, was to keep the boat expeditions short and sweet. Usually half an hour, never longer than an hour. We’d go slow and explore so she could see. She grew excited to see several herons, an osprey, a beaver dam, families of ducks and ducklings, even Canadian geese.

Her favorite thing? When we turned off the engine and glided into areas where you could see bottom. She’d see perch, sunfish, carp, and even a few trophy largemouth bass. Each time she would point and scream, “Fishy!”

The whole car ride home after the vacation, she’d see water out the window and ask for a boat ride. Right now she’s at the age where there’s not even a remote way of predicting what she’ll grow up to be. But if she decided to be a marine biologist or even the world’s best fishing guide, that would be all right with me. As long as she comped her Dad some trips.