Approximately 8 years and 30 something hours ago, I witnessed the birth of what would become my best buddy, teacher, and friend. I told him yesterday morning when he got up that 8 years ago he had come out a little bloody, poopy blob. Luckily, having experienced the whole process before. I only cried about as much as I am while writing this, or during most movies.
From the day he was born I knew that I wanted to raise him to be responsible, independent, caring, honest and respectable. Today, I look back amazed at how, with my own compassion, love and discipline, I have (so far) done just that. Through his own little boy oddities, the birth of his 3 sisters, and his mother and I divorcing and every other growing/learning/living child problem … there have been very few faults, he’s selfless, honest, responsible, caring and becoming ridiculously smart (and not just smart ass, though there is quite a bit of that) Of course there’s been times of sit down talks, yelling and even downright spanking and fighting.
From what I remember about being 8 years old … I was curious, in every single way possible, I had grown unattached from toys (though they proved to be great worth for a couple years following) and I wanted to be big but, I was still small … But, one of the most important things to me was my bb gun.
See, now we could start a controversy …”Is a bb gun appropriate for child of that age?” Having been threatened by a firearm multiple times in my life, only once was by a non-family member (my family is messed up(and I’m not even sure if the one in the robbery was real but, I wasn’t going to test it)) They have all been intimidating and scary. When my wife called to consult me about the gift, I steered entirely the opposite direction of what some would think … Why in the world that we live in, do we give people the option to desensitize themselves and each other to firearms in such a way?
If he were going to receive his first firearm for his birthday, it was going to be something real, something that he needed to treat with responsibility, learn proper procedures, gun safety and care … how to shoot, when to shoot. The entire thing has put A Christmas Story into perspective as I chant “You’ll shoot your eye out”.
I’m sure I’m being chastised by some anti-gun activists right now but, when he received the package the look on his face was “Quit teasing me”, I’m sure he still thought we were joking with him. As we took it out of it’s packaged and found a safer place to shoot he got even more excited and more curious as I taught him how and when to use the safety, how to carry his new little rifle, and more importantly what to watch for when you’re looking for a place to shoot.
But, he really got excited when he got back to the picnic area, and grandpa taught him how to aim, and position himself for better aim and how to cock the gun (he’s too little to do it like a normal person, he has to hold it with his legs to pull the lever all the way. He tore apart some cans with how well he was doing.
Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of the little man I’ve raised. Please share this post if you enjoyed it, and add me to your social channels for random crap, including graphic design, parenting, and life.