My aspiring angler (For those of you who don't know, a real fisherman is known as an "angler".) has been wanting to catch salmon for such a long time. And two weekends ago, he did it! He spent several hours at the creek near our church and caught himself a few nice salmon. (Gave one away to another angler who just wanted to get one and go...) The two he kept were full of eggs. Josh was thrilled. Because now he could make real fishing bait for next year's salmon runs. (Apparently, salmon like to eat salmon eggs - so they make great bait. I'm trying to get over the cannibalistic image that produces in my mind. *ewww*) So, with a bowl FULL of salmon eggs, Josh did his research and we bought the necessary items to create next year's bait. (Unscented Borax, and red tulle - in case you're wondering.) When Josh had the eggs prepared he sat down to wrap and tie individual packages, which he is certain will land him some amazing catches on future fishing expeditions. But after a short while, he realized the process was a lot more tedious than originally anticipated. And he was looking for help. So, I did what any other clueless-to-the-task mother would have done. I sat down to help. And during my brief orientation to spawn-sac-tying I learned that I needed to reach into the bag of eggs with my bare hands and retrieve 5-7 eggs. Step two was to place the eggs on the tulle, gather the corners together to form a sac and carefully twist it closed. Then I had to wrap a piece of thread around the top of the sac and wind it around tightly 8 or 9 times. All the while taking caution not to squeeze too tightly, lest I pop one of the eggs and get orange-ish slimy stuff all over my hand. By the way, I needed to "cut" the thread by pulling it - not with scissors - thereby assuring a tight closure on the sac. And, by the way, sometimes breaking the thread by pulling it caused enough pressure to break an egg - and I often ended up with slimy stuff on my hands.So, I sat at the table next to Josh tying spawn sacs for fishing bait and I wondered what benefit there was to this activity. Besides the obvious fish bait, of course. Our conversation hardly existed of more than, "Make sure you're closing the sac tightly," "Try not to leave such long thread tags," "Can you make some smaller sacs now?" and "Shoot! I broke another egg!" It seemed to me I ought to be taking advantage of this one-on-one time to have some kind of deep talk with my son. But just about the same moment I was having that thought, Josh said, "You know, not many moms would make these spawn sacs with their son. It's mother/son bonding time!" And we smiled at each other. In that moment, I realized Josh was happy simply to have me next to him - doing something he enjoyed. My presence and participation spoke love to him louder than any words I could have said. And, maybe, next year each time he goes fishing and uses one of those spawn sacs - he'll remember our evening together tying them up, and he'll smile at the recollection of how much his mom loves him. How can you speak love with your actions today?