Over the previous few years, he had been collecting G.I. Joe figurines. Every Christmas and birthday, every special treat, every penny directed his way went toward those little army guys. That summer, when Pat got his .22, he hatched a plan only a boy would come up with.
Painstakingly, over the course of many hours, Pat set up his G.I. Joe guys in fighting formation. Once he was finally convinced that everything was just right, he set up... Ready, aim, fire! That .22 blew those figurines to bits! (I don't believe his parents agreed to buy him another toy for the rest of his life.)
Early on in our relationship, I established a firm "no gun" rule. Looking back, I'm not certain what my rationale was besides the fact that guns scared me. I was convinced that, if we allowed our children to play with water guns, they would become violent adults and possibly mass murderers. (Blame it on the psychology degree.)
Have you ever read Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul? It's a book for men, but every woman should read it. Reading that book helped me understand my husband and sons - the way God designed them to be - in a way I never had. I learned that I (and society in general) had been so focused on what good, Christian men "ought to" be like that I hadn't bothered to ask who God created them to be. Men were created to be conquerors, heroes, and adventurers - men in God's own image.
As an early Father's Day/ birthday gift for my husband, I sent him with a debit card attached to a full account (on pay day) and told him to buy that gun he'd always wanted but was never 'allowed' to have. When he arrived home after making his purchase, the man-child sat on the couch next to me admiring his rifle (Or is it a shotgun? Or is that the same?). Ch-chick. Ch-chick. Ch-chick. I've never seen such a grin on his face.
This weekend, after ten whole days of endless waiting, my man headed out with some buddies and their sons for a day of shooting at stuff. The big boys killed hundreds of clay pigeons, while the younger boys fired at a variety of pop bottles and other home-made targets.
My baby was among those younger boys. And instead of being terrified, worried, and (s)motherly as I would have been before reading Wild at Heart, I was excited for Braeden (13) and the adventure he was embarking on.
Look at my firstborn baby! He's growing up so fast...
|Who knew you could shoot one-handed?|
|Trying out the 9 mm.|
|Okay, true confession... My mother heart did skip a beat when I |
saw the kick-back from this gun. Let's stick to the .22, okay?