They say that I am a replica of my mother. The hair, the eyes, the face and the mannerisms. Being that she is an amazing and beautiful woman, I take that as a compliment.
In turn, my children have a pleasing combination of my husband and I. Big brown eyes, olive skin, kindness in their hearts and a healthy dose of stubbornness and drive. We love them both to pieces.
But it was after a phone call that I received from my twenty year-old laid back son that I thought to myself, Who is this young man? “Mom”, he said softly, “I don’t want you to freak out but…I bought a shotgun.”
My son has a gun?
My little sweet guy owns his own gun?
I have to admit that although it was not a complete shock to hear this from him, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman who has been begging me to let him hunt since he was younger, the thought of him owning a gun raised the hairs along the nape of my neck to record highs.
After attempting to remain calm and pretending that I was not horrified, I asked him to tell me more about his purchase. He bought it from a friend who is a hunter. “Don’t worry mom, my roommate has a locked gun case for his shotguns so I can keep it there.”
I knew that his very nice roommate was a hunter and that he stored his guns locked up in their apartment, but I had already tucked that knowledge away in the very rear of my brain, convincing myself that it was not so. Now, my son had his gun to add to their growing collection.
I am going to let you tell your father about your purchase when he calls you this evening- was the last thing I said to him before hanging up.
This fine young man of mine grew up in one of the most liberal towns in the country. A wonderful place to grow up in but a town where everything is questioned and where political correctness is spewed out of its resident’s mouths ad nauseam. A town where the word blacktop was banned and replaced with, pavement. A happy valley filled with distinguished “experts” on every topic and where democracy, is sometimes a curse.
My husband and I (well, my husband mostly) taught him to gently dispose of insects found in our home by placing them outside and setting them free. We taught him to deal with conflict using words instead of violence. We even discouraged him when he pretended to shoot us with his little hand.
Save the whales!
Free the birds!
Think globally, act locally!
War is not the answer!
These were the bumper stickers he grew up reading on the way to religious education on Sunday afternoons.
At nearly 21 years of age, in addition to being a hunter, he has decided to study law enforcement and become a police officer. Really? How did this happen? Who does he take after? Where did this come from?
Although I know that hunting, when all rules and protocols are followed, is a safe sport and that many people grow up having guns in their homes, it will take me some time to get used to the idea that this will be a part of our lives.
I cannot help but wonder, how and when my wonderful son decided to become his own person. Someone who follows his passions and interests regardless of what others say. Someone who is confident in the person he has become and who does not feel the need to follow in anyone’s footsteps. A hardworking, responsible and compassionate young man I could not be more proud of.
It is times like these that I am reminded that sometimes, the apple does fall far from the tree – but it is a good apple, nevertheless.