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Learning From My Boys


Oh Deer!

A single mom has so many responsibilities to her children. She is a cook, teacher, nurse, disciplinarian, chauffeur, maid, financial manager, and so many other positions. It does become a challenge when boys want to learn "boyish" things. I tried to do what I could to fulfill all the positions, but when they began to show interest in hunting, I was oblivious.
Although I had no experience or knowledge of hunting and guns, I had several friends who did. Two of my friends stepped up to the plate and took my boys on a deer hunting trip. I was a little uneasy about my young boys, going hunting, but my friends reassured me that it was "family" weekend at the hunt club. This was the weekend set aside for young inexperienced hunters. All precautions were in place for a safe hunting weekend.

The boys teamed up with a friend. Payton, my 15 year old, was going to be hunting with Travis. Brady, my 11 year old was going to be hunting with Matt. So away they went. I had a weekend free, so I decided on a bubble bath and a bottle of wine, to try and wash away my fears of what my boys could be in to.

Two days later, the boys returned home. They were dirty, stinky, and tired. I was anxious to learn all about the trip but they were only wanting to get some much needed sleep. I would have to wait to hear the news.

The next day, Payton was the first to wake up. So we got some time to talk about his trip. He said that they had not shot anything, nor did they even see a deer. He explained how Travis and taught him all about guns, and gun safety. He a taught him the correct way to hold and carry the gun and how to aim and shoot. He learned about deer, and the difference between a buck and a doe, and acceptable times to hunt.

Payton was always a kind hearted child. He loved all animals. He would rescue any animal that I would let him bring home. With that said, I asked if he would have been able to actually shoot a deer. His response was, "After all of those hours in that tree stand, I would have shot a cat, had I seen one."

A little later, Brady emerged from his room. He was bright-eyed and hyped up. He couldn't wait to show me the pictures of the deer he shot on his trip. Apparently, he was the only one in the group that killed a deer. I asked him what he learned about guns and deer, and he said that he learned everyone celebrates and you have to smear the blood of your first deer on your face.

I asked what Matt had taught him about guns and how to shoot them. He said that when they saw the deer, Matt said, "There he is, get him", so he did. Having mixed feelings about this, I explained that it may have been premature to let you shoot without first learning how. Brady's response was, "Mom, don't overthink it. If Matt had taken the time to tell me how to do it, I wouldn't have gotten a deer."

As simple as it seems, I learned two lessons that day. The first lesson, I learned from Payton. It was about being patient. In relationships, for example, you may think there is someone you can't live without. You may believe you could love no other. After enough time has passed, you may find that your way of thinking has completely changed. So be patient and see what happens.

From Brady, I learned a different lesson. I learned that life gives you chances, but you have to occasionally take some risks. if you always play it safe, and over-analyze things, you may wait too long. Without taking risks, you may lose your chances. Sometimes, you have to trust your gut and jump right in. The end result may be exactly what you always wanted.

I guess a third lesson was to not trust your friends with your kids on a hunting trip.


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