Got the call from Chris he had four green stickers on his weekly report card and that he was being pardoned by his daddy for a visit with Nana. God bless my son. Friday afternoon I got in the car and went to get my little guy.

He was so excited when I told him tomorrow we were going to try and win a fishing rod and, maybe if we have time, make the splashpad. Nothing like your 5-year-old grandson telling you how much he really, really loves you. If he had said ‘Nana, can we go to Disney,’ I’m sure I would have said OK after all that talking about how much he loves me!

We got up early and went to the rodeo grounds to find out we were way too early ... so we went for coffee and a donut, in his case milk and a donut. Wasted a little time, then back to the rodeo grounds.

We stopped by the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, or CHNEP, booth on the rodeo grounds to see if Chris could get himself a free fishing rod. We were the first to arrive and they were happy to see us. Chris was excited about getting a fishing rod. He didn’t have a rod like they were passing out, so he felt like he was graduating to a bigger and better rod, which he was. I had bought him one of those small rods for kids. So, first Chris had to be taught how to tie the fishing knot; he seemed to catch on to that real quick and we were able to move on. I’m hoping he learned enough to tie my knot for me.

Station number two he was taught how to hold and cast the rod. Bingo, got that real quick. Next stop was how to measure a fish with a measuring tape—had a little problem but we were on our way in no time. I didn’t realize I was traveling with a 5-year-old genius. The next station he had to identify the bodies of water where you would find a bass, a snook, a redfish, in a lake, the mangoves, the ocean. I don’t know how, but he was able to figure that out real quick.

Last station bothered him when he was shown the photo of a bird that died from eating trash left on the beaches. Thankful that bothered Chris. I’m pretty sure when he goes to a beach from now on he’ll be taking his trash to a container.

Nicole Iadevala gave Chris the last two quizzes ... and when he was done, she gave him the new, shiny blue fishing rod. He was so happy and so proud that he had three green stickers on his pamphlet, green being a very important color to Chris.

Naturally, he had to show his beautiful blue fishing rod to everyone we saw on the way out. Bonnie Molloy helped him put on the beautiful white cowboy hat that Jackie Tucker gave him. I need to thank you ladies, you made his day.

He says the cowboy hat has to stay at Nana’s house so that none of his friends can hurt it. I don’t know how they could hurt it, but we are pretty agreeable to him wanting to keep his hat nice.

So it sits here and I look at it and miss the kid.

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