by Randy Reynolds

(from an old journal I stumbled across today)

May 12, 1985 (Sunday)

I watched 3 movies, barbecued steaks, played baseball with Ryan, rode the exer-cycle and lifted weights. I read 1 newspaper and portions of 2 novels. I did not go into work this weekend—one of the few weekends this has happened in the past few years. I’ve been working so hard I’ve had no time to live.

I was absolutely terrified about a thought I had today: I thought I would skip a day of work and Ryan would skip a day of school and we’d go fishing together. I was petrified at the thought. People like me can’t do that. I’ve got to be successful first. Someday we’ll do it… someday, someday, always someday. Well, someday Ryan will be grown… someday when I have the time and money I won’t have the health. So sometime this week, I’m going to take the time to go fishing with my 6-year-old son.

Kerri and Kristi haven’t had much to do with me lately—they’re growing up; friends are fast becoming more important than Daddy. I think I’ll take each of them separately for a special lunch sometime soon.

Today was Mother’s Day, one of those great advertising occasions I profit from. I called Mother in Covington at 7:30 a.m. and asked if I woke her up. She said, “No, you didn’t wake me up. What time is it? Well, maybe you woke me up.” She’s too nice to be straightforward about it.

I called Mama Maude, but there was no answer. She must be off visiting someone.

Sherry had a calm day. She laughed a lot at the movies. She has such a delightful laugh.

5-16-85 (Thursday)

I took Ryan and his Papa Huey to the Lake D’Arbonne spillway. After a couple of minutes, Ryan caught his first fish—a little catfish. He was so proud of himself he didn’t know what to do! Later, he caught some bream. I’ll never forget him standing there in that wind in his little orange cap, grinning from ear to ear and holding up that stringer for all to see. I wish I could capture that moment forever.

5-17-85 (Friday)

Tonight we went to the bridge over Bayou DeSiard. And he and I caught two tiny fish apiece. We stayed two hours.

5-19-85 (Sunday)

We rented a rowboat and fished among the cypress trees on Bayou DeSiard. Ryan caught six fish and I caught one. He was very happy about it—though not very gracious in victory! He sure rubbed it in! We stayed 5 hours. He wore his orange hat and an old orange lifejacket. His face got blistered. He is so good with a rod and reel it seems as if he’s been doing this for years.

He gets so wrapped up in things! He watched a fishing show on TV today…and rearranged our tackle box, in order to compare our lures to what he was seeing on TV.

He has enormous powers of concentration for a 6-year-old. Maybe that’s why he was walking at 5 months—correct: 5 months (a few days before he was 6 months old)—just a few steps at a time, but he paid attention to me and trusted me and made himself do it, standing against a wall at my sister Renee’s house in Slidell and walking without help to my outstretched hands.

He knew his alphabet at age one. He couldn’t recite it, but he could identify every letter correctly.

He memorized our entire insect book at age one… learned to swim at one… became interested in dinosaurs at two and could name most all of them on sight in kindergarten. I got him to do a radio commercial with me in which he had to pronounce Pachylacephalosaurus and he got it on the first take.

He’s taking on fishing just as he did all the above, so I know he’ll be successful at it.

I was going ot go to work today (*Sunday) till Ryan pointed out that I worked more than I fished last week. I was happy to stay with him and correct that imbalance.

Kristi’s friend Kim spent the night last night. Seems like a very smart girl, a good influence, but who knows?

Kerri got her car out of the shop Friday—another $330 out of my pocket—but worth it to make her feel special. After the fishing trip today, she and her boyfriend took Kristi and Ryan swimming at the apartments where we used to live.

I looked at Ryan a long time today and it was a revelation. I think of him as a certain size, a certain age, and then he walks in the room and he’s bigger than the image that was in my mind a moment before. The speed of his growth takes my breath away--it's almost like he grew in the last few seconds. I remember having the same feelings about Kerri and Kristi. They grow so fast. They’ll soon be gone.