On Being a Mom

by Em Loerke, Today’s Letters


Fishing moms and tots.
Photo by Heidi Owens, Courtesy of Today’s Letters

One of the greatest questions I’ve ever been asked is, “What did you enjoy doing as a child, and are you still making time to do those things as an adult?” I find this to be an interesting one given it’s been said that some of our happiest memories are made in our ninth year of life.

When I was nine, I was learning how to navigate a trolling motor and topwater bass fish with my dad. I remember the thrill of waking up before sunrise, the anticipation of slowly drifting into a quiet cove, and the suspense of setting the hook on a large mouth bass rising out of a misty lake. Fishing made me feel alive. It brought me true genuine joy and was the one thing I could do that didn’t make me anxious about troubles going on at home. Fish or no fish, being on the water brought me the inner peace and balance every child seeks.


The 9-year-old author proudly displays her catch.
Photo by Michael Richmond, Courtesy of Today’s Letters

Having my first baby at 34 taught me new lessons about peace and balance. It also birthed a fresh set of insecurities and fears for me to wade through. Trying to keep a tiny human alive with cuddles and frequent stops at my “breastaraunts” was both humbling and exhausting. It wasn’t long before I found myself back on the river again seeking inner peace and sanity with Brave strapped to my chest.

Like fishing, being a mom has its challenges. There is the thrill of being co-creators of life, the anticipation of getting three consecutive hours of sleep, and the suspense of hearing your baby’s first word. Both force us to breath deep and live in a constant state of patience.


Em and baby Brave with her first trout.
Photo by Molly Roberson, courtesy of Today’s Letters

As Brave gets older, more of our time together on the water has become dedicated to diaper changes, Goldfish refills, and rocks thrown from the banks. She reminds me that simply being outside can be just as healing as a full net.

I recently experienced this truth while on a week-long fishing adventure with two other moms and their 2 year old sons. Three mama’s with three kids under three. {Insert lots of meltdowns remedied by chicken nuggets here}.This trip more than any made me value time outside experienced in the company of women I adore, even over netting a large fish.


Em and Brave enjoying time on the stream.
Photo by Molly Roberson, Courtesy of Today’s Letters

I think that’s why my inner 9 year old heart leapt after seeing this video of Els and her daughter Pippa catch a beautiful brown trout together. It was one of the most authentic representations of the joy and peace that can come from doing things that give us life with those we love.

Here’s to creating more family experiences on the water and to raising up the next generation of kids who can identify a brown trout before they are potty trained.

Em Loerke writes the Today’s Letters blog.

One thought on “On Being a Mom”

  1. Em, I love this so much. Thanks for sharing some insight into your babe-in-tow fishing adventures. So cool to learn that there is a tribe of fly fishing mamas out there insisting that their kids be raised exposed to wild creatures and outdoor places where true wonder is born. Els (& Pippa)

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