This whole parenting thing, 13 years in, still feels pretty new and fresh to me. Each new stage is still undiscovered territory. Right when I feel like I might be getting the hang of things, some new season is upon us and I have to start back at the very beginning.
Andrew, in particular, has been an real eye-opener for me in this realm. I realized with him that not everything that I understand or enjoy will follow through to my children and sometimes they will enjoy things that have me scratching my head. And that's okay. I don't want to limit him to the confines of what my feminine mind has envisioned for him... I am glad to see him making his own way, following the beat to his own drum. But, sometimes, it is still surprising.
There are moments in my life when I pause at the ridiculousness that surrounds me and I laugh at how unexpected that moment was in my life. Like the moment when something was shoved in my face with a "Look at this, Mama!" and I looked, thinking I would find some feather or interesting bone (as is often the case) and instead found a skinned mouse, dangling by the tail just inches from my nose.
Or when I found almost an entire skeleton of deer parts in my mudroom.
Or the time when I looked out the window and saw Andrew flipping a dead squirrel up as high in the air as he could in order to watch the tail spiral downward in the wind.
And for a brief moment I think.... Wow. I never saw that one coming.
Whenever I find myself fretting over his love of animals, dead or alive, I remember Theodore Roosevelt and his self-same passions. I can very much relate to his Mama, Mittie. Perhaps I have a one-day president on my hands?
I never envisioned being the mother of a boy who carries around dead things and wears camo from head to toe. But that is the job of a parents, I suppose, to stretch for their children. I stretched for 9 months in the bearing of him, and the stretching didn't stop when he came into this world.
I continue to stretch even now. He stretches me thin and makes me grow.
And I love that about him.
|He even, incidentally, makes me learn how to fry squirrel drumsticks.|
|yep. I'm THAT kind of mother.|
He has been saving up his money for over a year now in order to buy a gun for himself. He got it a few days before his 11th birthday in preparation for....
...a shoot out.
Matt's parents set up a little 'range' in their yard as part of their birthday gift to him, knowing just what makes the boy tick.
|and he is a really good shot! (Must be all the squirrel hunting.)|
|We all got turns shooting....Corynn and I like to shoot too. We much prefer targets to animals, though.|
This year, since he is enamored with coyotes and hunting I made him a hunting coyote cake.
|Don't you love the fresh meat the coyote is eating? Ah yes. Gruesome birthday cakes. I'm THAT kind of mother.|
You can always tell how well a cake is liked by how long they want to look at it and soak it in.
This years' was a good one.
The other gift that Matt's parents got him was a coyote call. It makes sounds like a dying rabbit. So now, my son who loves to go for walks in the woods, will have the ability to call coyotes to him. (Personally, that would have not been my chosen choice of gift....) Andrew wears it every day in his little redneck toolbelt.
And I get to hear the sounds of dying rabbits all day.
And I continue stretching.... and growing... right alongside of him.