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As a young boy growing up in southern California, I didn't realize that part of my family culture was raised around “Ohana traditions” throughout my life. Many of these traditions surrounded a special meal with birthdays, holidays or vacation time together.

Today, I am a father of four children living in San Diego, California and I have adopted many of these, “Ohana traditions” with my own family. Over the course of the next few months, I plan to share some of my special recipes, along with a family tradition and story associated with that recipe.

Today’s story is about Fall Fishing with my son, Mossimo.

I guess I can say that I am pretty blessed. I have four healthy children who are all quite different in their personalities and activities. I have three daughters that love sports, science and art and a son who loves everything to do with fishing.  As long as I can remember, my son Mossimo had a fishing pole in his hand and was ready to go fishing every chance he could with me.

Fishing 5

On his 5th birthday, we started a tradition together where I would take him fishing for his birthday. We would take some time away from school and work and drive up to my parents cabin in the mountains in the Eastern High Sierra’s. Our weekend was spent fishing and spending father and son time together, as well as celebrating another one of his birthdays together. We have never missed a year since. In fact, I have captured some of these pictures over the years for you to see how this young boy has turned into a young man.

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My Son at 18

Some birthday trips were spent in ice-cold weather, while other trips were calm and mild. Our fishing was always good and the memories that I captured as a father during those trips are priceless.

Now, my son Mossimo will be 18 this fall and it reminds me of one of those conversations I use to have with him about the future. I have always reminded him that our trips are numbered; there will be a day where he will want to go fishing with other friends on his birthday. Someday in the future, I will have to share his company and celebrate his birthday among the new people in his life.

I told him that this is not bad news, but part of life. As a father, I must learn to let go and embrace the changes that come with raising children, as they grow older and have new relationships with friends and family.  Although this change is about to happen on our fishing trips, our father and son relationship is still there. The memories that we have built over the years fishing together have given both of us many years of joy.

We are heading out to fish for his birthday this month and it will include three of his best friends on the trip. I will not have alone time with him like I used to, but I am happy to add new fishing memories together with his friends.

Check out one of our favorite sandwiches to share while fishing, Meatball Sub Sandwiches using KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls!

You can find Richard's delicious Meatball Sub Sandwiches recipe, here.