Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oh, Deer!

I slept alone last night  - and my husband was home.  This is not normal for us, as we don't have a "sleep on the couch" type of marriage.  But, it's hunting season around here, and since my guys planned on getting up at 4 am, they decided to sleep in Noah's room to keep from waking if that worked.

I heard them tip-toeing and whispering before the sun was up, slipping into camo of many layers.  Of course they know the rule is you can't leave until I get a hug and kiss, so both of them were soon at my bed saying good-bye.  As I hugged Noah, I told him "today is your day, I feel it" and wished them both luck, but included my typical be safe reminders.

Around 8 am (sleeping in for me), I awoke and grabbed my phone to check on them, just as it rang.  A very breathless and excited Noah was on the other end. 

"Did you get my text?!" he shouted. 

Disappointment quickly replaced his vocal tone, when I told him I hadn't.  He told me to call him when I did and hung up, refusing to answer any of the dozen questions I hit him with. 

Ding. Ding.

Text box open, four pictures soon came into view with a happy smiling boy and heap of deer.  I quickly called him back, keeping it on speaker so I could see the photos.

"What you get two for the price of one?" I joked when he answered.

Dad and son are now laughing in the background, as Noah proceeds to give me the play by play.  Like rapid fire ammunition, he goes through his morning, Tim shooting in his comments every other sentence.  I can tell how proud Noah is - and how proud Tim is of Noah. 

A couple hours later they drop by so we can see the kill in person.  Adrenaline is still flowing, flushed cheeks, antsy with anticipation of me joining them outside.  I put my squeamish-poor-Bambi feelings aside and head for the truck, congratulating him on his win.  Nothing compares to seeing Noah smiling - or his Dad's giggles, as he beams at his son.  It always, always brings me joy.

My Big Hunter

Hard to believe just two short years ago was

How much he's changed. 

My little guy...all grown up.


Anonymous said...

I've never posted a comment on a blog before. I've selected anonymous because I don't know how the others work. But my name is Joan and I live in Belfast, Ireland. I've been reading your blog for some time now. Your faith is obviously the big thing in your life that is getting you through the terrible loss you have had, live with every day. I lack faith and struggle with my grief. But faith can't be forced, so I struggle. But I don't need to have faith to know the lessons of loss that you write about - not taking life for granted, the sanctity of life. I have cried at some of your posts. One of the most touching was the post you wrote about Tux. I admired that you took the time to acknowledge the grief you felt losing him. Then I see this photo of another species of beautiful animal slain by a child, the child smiling with the gun he killed them with. And I stopped in my tracks. That you would belong with that group of people who thinks is is good sport to track and kill defenceless animals, for fun. Although I don't eat meat, I get that most people do. But hunting is about the 'thrill' of stalking and killing, not about survival. When I see a child posing like this, gun in hand, over his 'trophies', I despair for another generation that has grown up with this utter disrespect for life. Does it really not matter to you that the life needlessly slain is animal life? Were they not gifts from your God? It just flies in the face of everything I have been reading in your post. And I pity you that you value animal life so little. Shame.

heather blair said...

Joan, thank you for taking time to read and write a comment. I will say that I was surprised the twist of comments as I began to read your reply. You say you are from Ireland and a vegetarian. Perhaps this is the reason for your shock in my post? We are from very different places. I am sorry that it offended you, but please, let me explain our side.

First of all, my family does not hunt for the "thrill of stalking" - for us, it is survival, or rather to stock our freezer for the winter. My husband and son pray before a hunt that the deer will receive mercy and a painless death. We also donate deer to a food/homeless shelter. So the animals do not die in vain. In our state (Kentucky) we have "hunting season" but it is done so for a purpose. We can only hunt certain species in a season to help the control of the population. There are strict rules and guidelines.

Also, my kids have always been brought up to respect gun safety. They take a hunter safety class. Guns are not toys. I can see how this post could be mis-read.

I understand that these are delicate matters and people stand on very different sides on guns and animal rights. I hope you can understand ours.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Heather, very different cultures, on both guns and hunting (although we have the terrible 'blood sports' of fox hunting and badger baiting here, using dogs). I'm trying to understand your culture, and I do know there are deer seasons in the US. But when I see photos of people smiling with the dead animals, and especially children, it looks so much like they've actually had 'fun' killing the animals, and I do struggle with that element of it. But I appreciate that you published my comment and explained it more, even if I still struggle with it. Thank you. My thoughts are with your family on your very difficult journey.

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